Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/12/2014 01:30 PM FINANCE

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Heard & Held
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 12, 2014                                                                                          
                         1:37 p.m.                                                                                              
1:37:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:37 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Representative  Wes Keller;  Don  Brand, Alaska  Legislative                                                                    
Liaison, Juneau.                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Stan  Leaphart,   Executive  Director,   Citizen's  Advisory                                                                    
Commission   on  Federal   Areas;   Thom  Buzard,   Director                                                                    
Convention of States,  Juneau; Zabrina Byfuglien, Tri-Valley                                                                    
High School,  Healy; Taylor Hancock, Tri-Valley  High School                                                                    
Government  Class,  Healy;  Isabella Saxe,  Tri-Valley  High                                                                    
School, Healy; Julia Nelson,  Tri-Valley High School, Healy;                                                                    
LTC  Roy   Carlson,  Self,   Wasilla;  Dr.   David  Eichler,                                                                    
Convention  of  State   Organization,  North  Pole;  Michael                                                                    
Farris, Director Convention of the States, Virginia.                                                                            
HJR 22    FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION                                                                                     
          HJR 22 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
HB 244    ADVISORY COMMISSION ON FEDERAL MGT AREAS                                                                              
          HB 244 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation and with a previously                                                                            
         published fiscal impact note: FN1 (DNR).                                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 244                                                                                                            
     "An Act extending the termination date of the                                                                              
     Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management                                                                        
     Areas in Alaska; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
1:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze noted  the birthday  of President  Abraham                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WES  KELLER introduced the bill  with a brief                                                                    
description.  He stated  that the  Constitution advised  the                                                                    
use, conservation and the  development of natural resources.                                                                    
He informed  the committee that Alaskans  had rights related                                                                    
to  their natural  resources. The  rights  were defined  and                                                                    
laid out  in both federal  and state levels.  He experienced                                                                    
an erosion  of the rights  in Alaska, with 66  percent owned                                                                    
by  the federal  government.  He stated  that the  Citizens'                                                                    
Advisory Commission  on Federal Areas' (CACFA)  was involved                                                                    
in multiple  issues, including the right  to access Alaska's                                                                    
resources,  water rights,  personal use,  substance, mineral                                                                    
development, access to rural cabins,  management of fish and                                                                    
game  and  transportation  planning.  He  noted  that  CACFA                                                                    
retained a  good working relationship with  federal agencies                                                                    
operating in  Alaska. He noted  that the annual  report laid                                                                    
out the efforts  of CACFA.  He mentioned  a CACFA conference                                                                    
about  federal overreach  including  invited testimony.  All                                                                    
testifiers  were   required  to  present  a   solution.  The                                                                    
testimony   was  captured   on  record   and  available   by                                                                    
transcript online.                                                                                                              
1:44:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Keller described  the commission. Regulations                                                                    
that  eroded rights  were carefully  tracked. He  noted that                                                                    
Stan Leaphart worked hard to  track the various agencies. He                                                                    
detailed  the  recent critical  habitat  label  of the  Cook                                                                    
Inlet  that resulted  from the  Endangered  Species Act.  He                                                                    
explained  that the  furlough  prevented  response from  the                                                                    
federal agencies regarding the summit's findings.                                                                               
1:46:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Keller  noted  the names  of  the  Citizen's                                                                    
Advisory Commission on Federal  Areas. The members worked on                                                                    
a volunteer  basis in  Anchorage. He  listed the  members as                                                                    
Rod Arno,  Senator John Coghill,  Mark Fish,  Teresa Hanson,                                                                    
Charlie  Lean, Kathleen  Liska, Mike  Meekin, Warren  Olsen,                                                                    
Ron Somerville,  Susan Smith, Frank  Woods, and  himself. He                                                                    
spoke to the commitment of his fellow members.                                                                                  
Representative  Keller  stated  that   the  bill  moved  the                                                                    
commission's sunset date to 2021.                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Stoltze added  that the  budget would  continue to                                                                    
support the commission if a decision was made to extend it.                                                                     
1:48:31 PM                                                                                                                    
STAN  LEAPHART,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,   CITIZEN'S  ADVISORY                                                                    
COMMISSION ON  FEDERAL AREAS (via  teleconference) testified                                                                    
on behalf of the legislation. He  had 8 of the 12 commission                                                                    
members  with him  working  on a  follow-up  for the  August                                                                    
summit. The  group refined the  recommendations seen  in the                                                                    
annual  report.  He  pointed out  that  the  commission  had                                                                    
invited   federal  agency   representatives  to   gather  in                                                                    
October,  but the  national government's  furlough prevented                                                                    
the meeting.  He met with  regional directors of  the United                                                                    
States   National  Park   Service,   the   Bureau  of   Land                                                                    
Management,  the  United  States   Forest  Service  and  the                                                                    
Secretary of the Interior Special Assistant.                                                                                    
Mr.  Leaphart informed  the  committee  that the  commission                                                                    
shared the  transcript from  the summit  with a  request for                                                                    
feedback.  The  commission  did receive  feedback  from  the                                                                    
United  States National  Park Service.  He pointed  out that                                                                    
work  with federal  issues was  increasing  daily. He  noted                                                                    
four major  management plans that  were underway.  The plans                                                                    
would dictate the uses of  the lands by the stakeholders. He                                                                    
noted interest in the stakeholder's concerns.                                                                                   
1:51:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  about  the  number of  personnel                                                                    
working in Mr. Leaphart's office.                                                                                               
Mr. Leaphart replied  that two people worked  in his office.                                                                    
He  stated that  the  office served  the  general public  by                                                                    
answering  pertinent  questions.   Employees  also  reviewed                                                                    
proposed management plans. The  work load involved reviewing                                                                    
the  National   Park  Service  Compendium.   Attendance  for                                                                    
meetings   involving  federal   agencies   and  the   public                                                                    
comprised  another   piece  of  the  workload.   The  office                                                                    
monitored  the activities  of the  four  major federal  land                                                                    
management agencies.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Stoltze  noted  one full-time  and  one  part-time                                                                    
position listed in the fiscal note.                                                                                             
Mr.  Leaphart replied  that  the  part-time position  worked                                                                    
full time for nine months.                                                                                                      
Representative Gara asked how the $285 thousand was spent.                                                                      
Co-Chair Stoltze referred to the fiscal note.                                                                                   
1:53:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  clarified that $230 thousand  was spent                                                                    
on salary for one and one-half positions.                                                                                       
Mr. Leaphart  clarified that the  $230 thousand  covered one                                                                    
and three-quarters positions.                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Neuman  asked about  the recommendations  made to                                                                    
the  legislature.  He  wondered which  recommendations  were                                                                    
acted on and implemented in the last couple of years.                                                                           
Mr.    Leaphart   replied    that   the    commission   made                                                                    
recommendations  regarding  a   local  hire  program,  which                                                                    
involved  working with  a congressional  delegation to  make                                                                    
changes  in  the  program.   The  program  employed  several                                                                    
hundred Alaskans  seasonally. Although  the program  did not                                                                    
involve  action by  the legislature,  it involved  action by                                                                    
the congressional delegation. He  mentioned a new task force                                                                    
assembled  by  the  Bureau  of  Land  Management  addressing                                                                    
placer mining policy.                                                                                                           
1:56:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Neuman explained  that he  wanted to  know about                                                                    
the commission's accomplishments.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Stoltze  considered it an accomplishment  to stop a                                                                    
federal process. He wondered if  the commission had halted a                                                                    
federal process.                                                                                                                
Representative Keller  replied that  he took  testimony from                                                                    
around   the  state   regarding   federal  overreach.   Some                                                                    
successes  involved  interactions   with  federal  agencies.                                                                    
Policy  changes were  made as  a result.  He noted  that Mr.                                                                    
Leaphart worked  with state agencies  such as  Department of                                                                    
Natural Resources.                                                                                                              
Representative Keller stated  that recommendations were made                                                                    
by   the   commission   regarding   federal   lawsuits.   He                                                                    
acknowledged that the Department of  Law did not always heed                                                                    
recommendations made by CACFA.                                                                                                  
1:58:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  about the  address,  3700                                                                    
Airport Road.                                                                                                                   
Mr. Leaphart replied that the  3700 Airport Road was located                                                                    
at the corner of University Avenue and Airport Way.                                                                             
Representative  Guttenberg applauded  the commission's  work                                                                    
on  the wood  bison. He  found some  federal recommendations                                                                    
inconsistent. He  wondered if  the issues  were voted  on by                                                                    
the members.                                                                                                                    
Representative Keller  replied that  both the  annual report                                                                    
and a  report on the  summit were included in  the committee                                                                    
back   up.   The   report   did   not   include   commission                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  stated  that  reports  generally                                                                    
included majority votes.                                                                                                        
2:01:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Gara   noted    mention   of   recommending                                                                    
litigation  and fighting  federal  overreach. He  understood                                                                    
that  the governor  also supported  the  movement. He  asked                                                                    
what  the commission  was doing  to  enhance the  governor's                                                                    
2:02:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Leaphart  clarified that  the commission  worked closely                                                                    
with  ANILCA (Alaska  National  Interest Lands  Conservation                                                                    
Act).  The program  reviewed  similar  management plans  and                                                                    
regulations  and  weighed them  against  the  effect of  the                                                                    
state's   management   prerogatives.    He   mentioned   the                                                                    
commission's  newsletter and  website.  The information  was                                                                    
available to stakeholders and public  groups in an effort to                                                                    
incorporate their  views. He provided an  example related to                                                                    
a bath house in the Tongass National Forest.                                                                                    
2:04:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze viewed the commission  in the same way that                                                                    
he viewed  the Minerals  or Forest Advisory  Commissions. He                                                                    
suggested that the state would  engage in fewer lawsuits and                                                                    
press releases  about them with  less federal  overreach. He                                                                    
noted that the state was in a reactive mode.                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze closed public testimony                                                                                        
2:05:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Costello  discussed FN 1 from  the Department                                                                    
of Natural Resources  for $285,300 from FY 15  through FY 20                                                                    
for one full-time and one part-time position.                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Neuman  MOVED to REPORT  HB 244 out  of committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
HB  244 was  REPORTED  out  of committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with   a  previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
impact note: FN1 (DNR).                                                                                                         
2:06:46 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 22                                                                                                 
     Requesting  the  United  States   Congress  to  call  a                                                                    
     convention of  the states to propose  amendments to the                                                                    
     Constitution of  the United  States that  impose fiscal                                                                    
     restraints on  the federal government, limit  the power                                                                    
     and jurisdiction  of the federal government,  and limit                                                                    
     the terms  of office  of federal  government officials;                                                                    
     and urging the  legislatures of the other  49 states to                                                                    
     request   the  United   States  Congress   to  call   a                                                                    
     convention of the states.                                                                                                  
2:07:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson, sponsor read the sponsor statement.                                                                      
     It  is the  solemn duty  of the  states to  protect the                                                                    
     liberty   of   its   people,   particularly   for   the                                                                    
     generations  to  come,  to propose  amendments  to  the                                                                    
     Constitution of the United  States through a convention                                                                    
     of  the  states under  the  article  V to  place  clear                                                                    
     restraints on these and related abuses of powers.                                                                          
     Article  V, U.S.  Constitution  states: "The  Congress,                                                                    
     whenever  two  thirds  of both  houses  shall  deem  it                                                                    
     necessary,   shall    propose   amendments    to   this                                                                    
     Constitution,   or,   on   the   application   of   the                                                                    
     legislatures  of  two  thirds of  the  several  states,                                                                    
     shall  call  a  convention  for  proposing  amendments,                                                                    
     which, in  either case, shall  be valid to  all intents                                                                    
     and  purposes,  as  part  of  this  Constitution,  when                                                                    
     ratified by  the legislatures of  three fourths  of the                                                                    
     several  states, or  by  conventions  in three  fourths                                                                    
     thereof, as one  or the other mode  or ratification may                                                                    
     be  proposed   by  the   Congress;  provided   that  no                                                                    
     amendment  which may  be  made prior  to  the year  one                                                                    
     thousand eight  hundred and eight  shall in  any manner                                                                    
     affect  the  first  and fourth  clauses  in  the  ninth                                                                    
     section  of  the  first article;  and  that  no  state,                                                                    
     without  its consent,  shall be  deprived of  its equal                                                                    
     suffrage in the Senate."                                                                                                   
     By  calling a  convention of  states, we  can stop  the                                                                    
     federal  spending and  debt spree,  the power  grabs of                                                                    
     the federal  courts, and the  other misuses  of federal                                                                    
     power.  The current  situation  is  precisely what  the                                                                    
     Founders feared, and they gave  us a solution we have a                                                                    
     duty to use.                                                                                                               
2:08:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson noted  many misconceptions  regarding                                                                    
the Convention of States. She  highlighted the fact that the                                                                    
country's   forefathers   predicted    the   potential   for                                                                    
government  to get  out of  control.  The legislation  would                                                                    
allow the states  to commune about concerns.  She relayed an                                                                    
incident   in  Chicken   Alaska   where  the   Environmental                                                                    
Protection   Agency  (EPA)   intervened  in   family  mining                                                                    
operations. She  noted that three-fourths of  the state must                                                                    
arrive  at  a  resolution  with  such  similar  intent  that                                                                    
Congress would have clarity about  the state's desires. Each                                                                    
state would have one vote.                                                                                                      
Representative Wilson  continued that 38 states  must ratify                                                                    
the amendment.  She opined that  the federal  government was                                                                    
out  of   control.  Increased  regulations   heightened  the                                                                    
difficulty, particularly in Alaska.  She stated that she was                                                                    
tired  of all  of the  regulations  and was  ready to  fight                                                                    
back. She revealed that a  group of passionate students from                                                                    
Healy provided testimony in an earlier committee hearing.                                                                       
2:11:49 PM                                                                                                                    
DON BRAND, ALASKA LEGISLATIVE  LIAISON, JUNEAU, testified in                                                                    
support of  the legislation. He  lamented that he  no longer                                                                    
recognized his country. He witnessed  many decisions that he                                                                    
deemed  limiting  to  liberty,  individual  freedom  and  an                                                                    
example   of  an   out-of-control  federal   government.  He                                                                    
expressed  fear. He  discussed  a book  called "The  Liberty                                                                    
Amendments" by Mark Levin. The  book described the Article V                                                                    
process  for proposing  amendments to  the Constitution.  He                                                                    
stated  that  the  book  proposed a  set  of  amendments  to                                                                    
address the situation facing the United States.                                                                                 
Mr.  Brand discussed  his introduction  to the  organization                                                                    
known as  the Convention  of States  Project. He  noted that                                                                    
the   Citizens  for   Self   Government   were  the   parent                                                                    
organization.  The  role of  the  project  was to  urge  and                                                                    
empower state legislators to call  a convention of States to                                                                    
propose amendments  to the Constitution to  limit the powers                                                                    
of  the   federal  government.  He  pointed   out  that  the                                                                    
organization  was  attempting  to   build  grass  roots  and                                                                    
consisted  of volunteers.  He noted  that the  organizations                                                                    
existed in 40 states. He  volunteered to help and was deemed                                                                    
the Alaska legislative liaison for the organization.                                                                            
Mr.  Brand urged  the  committee  to support  Representative                                                                    
Wilson's resolution,  which followed  the model  proposed by                                                                    
the Convention of States. The  resolution differed from past                                                                    
approaches in  two significant ways. The  resolution did not                                                                    
call for  a specific amendment.  He noted over  400 attempts                                                                    
to call for a Convention of  States by the states. He stated                                                                    
that the 34 state thresholds  were never met. He pointed out                                                                    
that it  was difficult to have  34 states agree to  the same                                                                    
wording for  their proposed amendment.  He suggested  that a                                                                    
working group environment might  enable a successful process                                                                    
among the 34 states.                                                                                                            
2:17:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Brand  explained that the  Convention of  States project                                                                    
would enable the introduction of  the same resolution for at                                                                    
least 34 states. The effort  yielded drafted resolutions for                                                                    
10 states.  The organization  hoped to  add more  states. He                                                                    
noted moderate  success when introduced. He  stated that the                                                                    
resolution passed the Senate of  the Georgia legislature. He                                                                    
hoped  that Alaska  would  follow with  the  passage of  the                                                                    
resolution before the committee.                                                                                                
Mr. Brand  stated that the movement  was gathering momentum.                                                                    
He believed  that the resolution would  address the problem.                                                                    
He  stated  that different  views  and  approaches could  be                                                                    
included  by states  with  a different  area  of concern  or                                                                    
2:19:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  highlighted former Senator  Ted Stevens                                                                    
who  was recognized  as  a statesman  who  brought money  to                                                                    
Alaska with  the goal of  building infrastructure.  He noted                                                                    
that   the  federal   contributions  were   responsible  for                                                                    
substantial employment in Alaska.  He asked about the fiscal                                                                    
restraints listed  in the bill.  He asked how much  ought to                                                                    
be cut from federal funds received by the state.                                                                                
Mr. Brand  replied that he  did not  have an idea  about how                                                                    
much   should   be  cut.   He   was   concerned  about   his                                                                    
grandchildren. He did not have dollar amounts.                                                                                  
2:21:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  noted  the bill's  wording  requesting                                                                    
fiscal restraints.  He pointed out  the limits on  the power                                                                    
and jurisdiction of the federal  government. He wondered why                                                                    
the  bill allowed  Congress the  leeway to  expand spending,                                                                    
when the goal was to contract it.                                                                                               
Mr. Brand  replied that  the words  were intended  to affect                                                                    
the Convention of States that  might be compiled as a result                                                                    
of 34 similar  resolutions. The purpose of  the delegates or                                                                    
commissioners  at  the  convention   was  to  interpret  the                                                                    
meaning  of  the words.  He  acknowledged  that some  states                                                                    
might view the  situation as an opportunity  to increase the                                                                    
limits  rather than  reduce them.  He added  that 38  states                                                                    
must agree to create a  formal amendment, recognized as part                                                                    
of the  Constitution. He  believed that  an ample  amount of                                                                    
states  would  agree  with the  idea  of  increased  federal                                                                    
authority or increased federal spending limits.                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stoltze  appreciated the  mention of  Alaska's loss                                                                    
of former Senator Ted Stevens.                                                                                                  
2:23:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg   asked  if  Alaska   passed  the                                                                    
resolution  along with  34 other  states, how  similar would                                                                    
the legislation  be required to  read. He asked  if Congress                                                                    
would be required to call the convention.                                                                                       
Mr. Brand pointed  to the Article V  description included in                                                                    
committee members'  packets. He read "or  on the application                                                                    
of the legislature should two-thirds  of the several states,                                                                    
Congress shall  call a convention." He  stated that Congress                                                                    
would not have  a choice. If Congress neglected  to call the                                                                    
convention, there  would be grounds for  judicial action. He                                                                    
was  sure  that the  Supreme  Court  would pursue  the  case                                                                    
quickly.  He  believed  that  the   language  in  Article  V                                                                    
regarding the roles and responsibilities of Congress.                                                                           
2:25:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  asked   how  the  allocation  of                                                                    
delegates worked. He wondered about Alaska specifically.                                                                        
Mr. Brand  replied that the  representation to  a convention                                                                    
of  states would  be determined  by the  Alaska legislature.                                                                    
Legislators could  choose as many  or few delegates  as they                                                                    
wished. He  understood that  precedence existed.  Each state                                                                    
receives   one   vote,   regardless   of   the   number   of                                                                    
representatives.  For  the  completion of  the  ratification                                                                    
process Congress  is able to  determine whether the  vote is                                                                    
directly a legislative vote or a state convention.                                                                              
2:28:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  asked   about  the  convention's                                                                    
agenda.   He   was   not  sure   whether   the   legislative                                                                    
representatives called  the final  vote or whether  a public                                                                    
vote was indicated.                                                                                                             
Mr. Brand replied that the  delegates at the convention were                                                                    
authorized  to   represent  and  to  vote   as  the  state's                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  explained  that   a  bill  from  the                                                                    
legislature would determine the  selection of the delegates.                                                                    
She stated that the convention  would provide an agenda with                                                                    
votes from  the states  present. At least  34 of  the states                                                                    
would  be required  to approve  the  agenda. Congress  would                                                                    
then approve the  agenda. If Congress chose  not to approve,                                                                    
the bill  would return  to the state  legislatures requiring                                                                    
38 of the state legislatures must ratify it.                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  pointed   out  that  authorizing                                                                    
legislation was in progress.                                                                                                    
2:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Munoz   asked  if   34  states   passed  the                                                                    
resolution  but  the variety  of  subjects  covered was  not                                                                    
Mr. Brand replied  that all 34 must agree on  the variety of                                                                    
subjects for the process to continue to ratification.                                                                           
Representative  Wilson added  that the  resolutions must  be                                                                    
very similar. The 34 resolutions  must be judged by Congress                                                                    
for similar intent.                                                                                                             
2:31:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Munoz asked  how many  states were  debating                                                                    
similar resolutions.                                                                                                            
Representative Wilson replied 10 different states.                                                                              
Representative Munoz  asked if a state  passed a resolution,                                                                    
how long was it effective.                                                                                                      
Mr. Brand  responded that the resolution  was open-ended, it                                                                    
would last forever.                                                                                                             
2:33:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Edgmon  pointed out  a recent bill  passed by                                                                    
the committee requiring  schools to teach the  merits of the                                                                    
Constitution. He  found irony in  the resolution  before the                                                                    
committee.  He   stated  that   the  partisan   gridlock  in                                                                    
Washington DC included both parties.  He thought that a true                                                                    
Constitutional convention  might be contentious.  The United                                                                    
States  was built  on the  ideals of  democracy and  was the                                                                    
envy of  the rest of  the world. He  wondered if it  was the                                                                    
nature of politics that was  really the culprit, rather than                                                                    
the  founding principles  of the  counties.  He saluted  the                                                                    
flag when  on the House  Floor for good reasons.  He thought                                                                    
that the bill might provide the wrong target.                                                                                   
2:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  replied that  the resolution  did not                                                                    
open  the entire  Constitution. She  stressed that  congress                                                                    
was out  of control and citizens  had no way to  fight back.                                                                    
She stated  that the  EPA had  caused multiple  hardships in                                                                    
her district.  She offered to help  Representative Edgmon to                                                                    
better  understand her  ideals. If  the Constitution  was to                                                                    
remain  unaltered, why  would the  founding fathers  include                                                                    
Article V? She opined that  that the inclusion was available                                                                    
to  retain control.  She wished  to pass  the resolution  in                                                                    
Alaska to send a message  to Congress. She stressed that the                                                                    
federal government had a direct  negative effect on Alaska's                                                                    
constituents.  She  believed  that the  Constitution  was  a                                                                    
working document.                                                                                                               
Representative  Edgmon appreciated  Mr. Brand's  passion. He                                                                    
remained   unconvinced  that   the  resolution   before  the                                                                    
committee was the  answer. He believed that  the problem was                                                                    
political in nature. He  supported amending the Constitution                                                                    
on a  case-by-case basis, but  the idea of  a Constitutional                                                                    
Convention frightened him.                                                                                                      
Mr.  Brand  noted  a  difference  between  a  Constitutional                                                                    
Convention and the proposed call  for a Convention of States                                                                    
for  the purpose  of defining  amendments. A  Constitutional                                                                    
Convention   involved  writing   a  constitution,   while  a                                                                    
Convention of States had the  purpose of writing amendments.                                                                    
He  hoped  to  reenergize  the  Constitution.  He  was  also                                                                    
frustrated with  the politics in Washington  DC as described                                                                    
by  Representative  Edgmon.  He  was most  bothered  by  the                                                                    
interpretation  of the  Constitution  that  had diluted  the                                                                    
original intent. He highlighted  the good and welfare clause                                                                    
and  the commerce  clause, which  he  opined were  stretched                                                                    
beyond  breaking   point  by  a  Congress   hoping  to  take                                                                    
responsibility for matters that were not designated powers.                                                                     
Mr.  Brand noted  that  powers that  were  not delegated  to                                                                    
Congress were  reserved for  the states. He  hoped to  see a                                                                    
renewal of  state control to  prevent a  continued expansion                                                                    
of  Congress' power.  He stated  that the  executive branch,                                                                    
the  regulatory  agencies and  the  Supreme  Court were  not                                                                    
exempted from  the drive  to overreach.  He was  troubled by                                                                    
the fact that five  unelected individuals determined the law                                                                    
without  appeal in  the United  States. He  noted that  if a                                                                    
controversial Supreme  Court decision was made,  through the                                                                    
proposed  resolution,   an  appeal   to  the  state   for  a                                                                    
supporting or opposing vote was possible.                                                                                       
2:41:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Austerman  echoed  the opinion  of  Representative                                                                    
Edgmon, regarding  the resolution's writing. He  agreed that                                                                    
the  federal government  was  out of  control  in regard  to                                                                    
money management. He hesitated  to approve a resolution that                                                                    
limited   the  power   or   jurisdiction   of  the   federal                                                                    
government. He  believed that policies  changed at  the whim                                                                    
of those  in power. He discussed  the pros and cons  of term                                                                    
limits.  He  commented  that  the  state  level  experienced                                                                    
similar problems. He hoped  for further conversations before                                                                    
moving the bill out of committee.                                                                                               
2:42:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze appreciated the work of the testifier.                                                                         
Representative Guttenberg  echoed the sentiment  of Co-Chair                                                                    
THOM  BUZARD, DIRECTOR  CONVENTION  OF  STATES, JUNEAU  (via                                                                    
teleconference) responded to  Representative Gara's question                                                                    
regarding  the loss  of federal  funds in  Alaska. He  noted                                                                    
that  the Alaska  economy would  be better  able to  develop                                                                    
without  the  heavy weight  of  the  federal government.  He                                                                    
opined that  the federal restrictions  slowed the  growth in                                                                    
Alaska  making  it possible  for  permanent  funds for  gas,                                                                    
water and mineral exports. He  wished to separate the notion                                                                    
of   a   Constitutional   Convention  from   that   of   the                                                                    
legislation's intended Convention of  States. He pointed out                                                                    
that  a Convention  of  States would  be  restricted to  the                                                                    
topic included in the resolution.  He had the responsibility                                                                    
of drumming-up  support for the hearings.  He had difficulty                                                                    
collecting the  support because people  were afraid  to talk                                                                    
negatively   about  the   government.  He   listed  multiple                                                                    
agencies that terrified people such  as the Internal Revenue                                                                    
Service,  the National  Security  Agency, the  Environmental                                                                    
Protection Agency,  the Department of  Environmental Control                                                                    
and the Bureau  of Alcohol, Tobacco and  Firearms. He stated                                                                    
that the country's founders believed  that a government that                                                                    
was afraid of  the people provided freedom  and liberty, but                                                                    
people afraid of their government reigned tyranny.                                                                              
Co-Chair Stoltze joked that he  drove a Jeep Patriot and was                                                                    
not afraid of the National Security Agency.                                                                                     
Mr. Buzzard  stated that the  federal government was  out of                                                                    
control. He  referred to the book  "The Liberty Amendments,"                                                                    
which discussed  placing the  power back  into the  hands of                                                                    
the  state  legislatures.  The states  created  the  central                                                                    
government and ought to have the power renewed.                                                                                 
2:49:49 PM                                                                                                                    
ZABRINA  BYFUGLIEN,  TRI-VALLEY   HIGH  SCHOOL,  HEALY  (via                                                                    
teleconference) testified with a  group from her school that                                                                    
collaborated to  provide the testimony. She  and her cohorts                                                                    
believed  that  the  United  States was  intended  to  be  a                                                                    
Constitutional Republic,  but was turning into  a democracy.                                                                    
She stressed  that the decay of  the Constitutional Republic                                                                    
was not a  political issue. She believed that  the decay had                                                                    
happened for nearly  a century. In 1913,  the 17th amendment                                                                    
was  implemented,  referring  to  the  popular  election  of                                                                    
Senators.  State  legislators   were  once  responsible  for                                                                    
electing senators. Amendment 17  gave the largely uneducated                                                                    
public  elective  power  over   the  Senate.  The  amendment                                                                    
decreased the  state's power. The  Senate used  to represent                                                                    
the   states  because   they  were   chosen  by   the  state                                                                    
2:54:04 PM                                                                                                                    
TAYLOR  HANCOCK, TRI-VALLEY  HIGH  SCHOOL GOVERNMENT  CLASS,                                                                    
HEALY  (via teleconference),  testified  in  support of  the                                                                    
legislation.  He   noted  that  the  main   purpose  of  the                                                                    
Constitution was  to preserve the  sovereignty of  the state                                                                    
and to keep the federal  government checked and balanced and                                                                    
strictly  under the  enumerated  powers  given. The  General                                                                    
Welfare and Commerce  Clause were used as tools  to make the                                                                    
Constitution  a  living  document.  The  country's  founding                                                                    
fathers  did  not  intend  the   Constitution  as  a  living                                                                    
2:58:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Hancock  continued  that  the  Constitution  enumerated                                                                    
certain powers  for the federal government.  Many powers not                                                                    
enumerated  in  the  Constitution   were  reserved  for  the                                                                    
states.  He  noted that  Congress  often  used the  commerce                                                                    
clause  to  justify  existing  legislative  power  over  the                                                                    
activities  of  the states  and  their  citizens leading  to                                                                    
significant  controversy  regarding  the  balance  of  power                                                                    
between the  federal government and the  states. The federal                                                                    
government was involved in areas  that were not within their                                                                    
jurisdiction  such  as  health  care,  social  security  and                                                                    
2:59:10 PM                                                                                                                    
ISABELLA   SAXE,   TRI-VALLEY   HIGH  SCHOOL,   HEALY   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in favor  of the legislation. She                                                                    
opined that  a Convention of  States was needed  because the                                                                    
government had overstepped its bounds.  She expounded on the                                                                    
two  methods  of  amending the  constitution.  In  the  less                                                                    
common process, amendments were  proposed by a Convention of                                                                    
States  and called  at the  request of  two-thirds of  state                                                                    
legislatures. Neither  process allowed for  a Constitutional                                                                    
Convention.  She  hoped to  dispel  the  fear of  a  runaway                                                                    
Constitutional  Convention  by  informing about  checks  and                                                                    
balances available in the resolution.                                                                                           
3:02:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIA   NELSON,   TRI-VALLEY   HIGH   SCHOOL,   HEALY   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in favor  of the legislation. She                                                                    
discussed  America's debt  and  regulatory crisis.  Congress                                                                    
could  not continue  to act  as  if there  was an  unlimited                                                                    
source  of  income  for  their   whims.  She  quoted  Thomas                                                                    
Jefferson,  "We  must  not  let  our  rulers  load  us  with                                                                    
perpetual debt." She testified  to stop the unconstitutional                                                                    
spending.  She   clarified  that   her  testimony   was  not                                                                    
reflective   of   a   political  party,   but   was   solely                                                                    
3:06:01 PM                                                                                                                    
LIEUTENANT   COLONAL  ROY   CARLSON,   SELF,  WASILLA   (via                                                                    
teleconference)  testified  as  a retired  US  Army  retired                                                                    
colonel. He  expressed a non-partisan view  of concern about                                                                    
a  practice that  occurred with  the federal  government for                                                                    
many  years. During  the Constitutional  Convention, it  was                                                                    
argued  that  the  amendment process  did  not  address  the                                                                    
possibility  of an  out-of-control  federal government.  The                                                                    
founders  recognized   that  Congress  would  not   pass  an                                                                    
amendment  limiting their  own power,  so another  amendment                                                                    
was added  to amend  the Constitution and  put the  power in                                                                    
the  hands of  the  state legislatures.  He mentioned  other                                                                    
countries  that experienced  tyrannical governments  such as                                                                    
Russia and  Cuba, whose citizens warned  Americans about the                                                                    
future problems predicted as a  result of the United States'                                                                    
government and its  use of "soft tyranny."  He stressed that                                                                    
Article V  was the way to  stop tyranny by the  rule of law,                                                                    
rather than a revolution.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked the  testifier to  stop him  and say                                                                    
hello in Wasilla.                                                                                                               
3:11:38 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. DAVID  EICHLER, CONVENTION OF STATE  ORGANIZATION, NORTH                                                                    
POLE  (via  teleconference),  testified   in  favor  of  the                                                                    
legislation. He reminded the committee  that Article V would                                                                    
allow them to fix the broken federal government.                                                                                
3:12:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL FARRIS, NATIONAL DIRECTOR  CONVENTION OF THE STATES,                                                                    
VIRGINIA (via teleconference)  testified as a constitutional                                                                    
lawyer and professor. He was  the principal draftsman of the                                                                    
resolution  before  the  committee. He  noted  that  similar                                                                    
legislation was moving  in other states. He  referred to the                                                                    
students'   testimony  and   complimented  the   information                                                                    
conveyed to the committee.  He questioned the interpretation                                                                    
of the Constitution  by the Supreme Court.  He surmised that                                                                    
the  Constitution   of  States   process  of   amending  the                                                                    
Constitution  would allow  for  the original  intent of  the                                                                    
founding  fathers. He  stated that  the EPA  tyrannized many                                                                    
Americans  and was  a  misuse of  the  commerce clause.  The                                                                    
resolution's  language was  appropriately  broad, but  would                                                                    
gain  in specificity  before becoming  law. The  language in                                                                    
the resolution defined  the agenda in the  Convention of the                                                                    
States. The  language for the Constitution  would be drafted                                                                    
at the  Convention of the  States. The final  language would                                                                    
be  ratified  by  state legislatures,  who  would  determine                                                                    
terms  and provisions.  The creation  of the  convention was                                                                    
necessary to progress toward details.                                                                                           
3:18:27 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:19:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze stated  that committee  members wished  to                                                                    
debate the bill further.                                                                                                        
Representative  Wilson reiterated  that  the resolution  was                                                                    
only the first step in the  process. She noted that the next                                                                    
step  would  include  determining delegates  for  Alaska.  A                                                                    
choice could  be made  to participate  in some  issue, while                                                                    
leaving others  alone. She stated that  the Constitution had                                                                    
been  amended  in  the  past  by  Congress.  The  resolution                                                                    
permitted a method of control for the states.                                                                                   
Co-Chair Stoltze respected all the divergent views.                                                                             
HJR  22  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
3:22:34 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:22 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 22 Public Testimony - Mike Coons.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Alabama.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Arizona.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Florida.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Georgia.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Idaho.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Kansas.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Pennsylvania.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents South Carolina.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents USA Convention of States.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Virginia.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents West Virginia.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Supporting documents Wisconsin.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR Supporting documents New Mexico.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HB 244 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 244
HB 244 Supporting Document~CACFA 2013 Annual Report.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 244
HJR 22 Public Testimony.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22
HJR 22 Public Testimony Don Brand.pdf HFIN 2/12/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 22