Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/28/2014 01:30 PM FINANCE


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HJR 10 CONST. AM: TRANSPORTATION FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 10(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HJR 22 FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 28, 2014                                                                                          
                         1:35 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:35:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman called the House Finance Committee                                                                           
meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, 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 Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Daniel   George,   Staff,   Representative   Bill   Stoltze;                                                                    
Representative Peggy Wilson, Sponsor.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HJR 10    CONST. AM: TRANSPORTATION FUND                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          CSHJR 10(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with                                                                      
          "no recommendation" and with one new fiscal                                                                           
          impact note from the Office of the Governor.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HJR 22    FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          HJR 22 was REPORTED out of committee with "no                                                                         
          recommendation" and with one previously published                                                                     
          zero fiscal note: FN1 (LEG).                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
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.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:36:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman  relayed that HJR 22  had been previously                                                                    
heard by the committee.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TAMMIE WILSON,  SPONSOR, discussed  that the                                                                    
resolution proposed to hold a  convention of the states. She                                                                    
detailed that Alaska  wanted to be a part  of the convention                                                                    
if 35 states all passed  the resolution. She elaborated that                                                                    
following  the passage  of the  resolutions the  legislature                                                                    
would determine  the number of  delegates it wanted  to send                                                                    
and which  issues it wanted  the delegates to speak  on. She                                                                    
noted that  if delegates  could be replaced  with alternates                                                                    
if they  did not speak  the way the legislature  wanted. She                                                                    
addressed    the   concept    of   a    "runaway"   [runaway                                                                    
constitutional  convention]  and relayed  that  legislatures                                                                    
had control over the topics;  once an amendment was finished                                                                    
if  35 delegates  voted yes  it  would return  to the  state                                                                    
legislatures.  Subsequently the  issue  would need  approval                                                                    
from 38 states.  She stated that there  were numerous checks                                                                    
and balances.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  asked  if a  convention  would  be                                                                    
limited to the items listed in the resolution.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  replied   in  the  affirmative.  She                                                                    
expounded that  legislatures could narrow the  scope further                                                                    
and did not have to speak on the issues.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello   did  not  believe  there   was  a                                                                    
provision for  states to  rescind a  call for  a convention.                                                                    
She  believed that  the  states  would have  to  call for  a                                                                    
convention  on  the  same  topic  in  order  to  be  counted                                                                    
[towards the 35  states]. For example, if  two states called                                                                    
for a convention on term  limits and other states called for                                                                    
a convention  unrelated to term  limits, the  states calling                                                                    
for a  convention on term  limits would not be  counted. She                                                                    
believed the list in the  states' "call" would determine the                                                                    
convention agenda.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson  shared   Representative  Costello's                                                                    
understanding   of  the   issue.   She   detailed  that   if                                                                    
resolutions  differed Congress  would  have  the ability  to                                                                    
determine  that  the  resolutions  did  not  match  [closely                                                                    
enough];  therefore,  resolutions  like   HJR  22  had  been                                                                    
drafted similarly in  other states. She noted  that it would                                                                    
be difficult for the resolutions  to all make it through the                                                                    
states'  House and  Senate. She  stressed the  importance of                                                                    
making the states' resolutions as similar as possible.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  had  asked  for  a  legal  opinion  on                                                                    
whether a runaway constitutional  convention could occur. He                                                                    
recalled   that  the   U.S.  Constitution   left  open   the                                                                    
possibility that  a convention would  not be limited  to the                                                                    
topics passed by  the states. He detailed  that per language                                                                    
in the U.S. Constitution  after the circumstances happened a                                                                    
constitutional convention would be  called. He was uncertain                                                                    
how  the  legal  opinion  read   and  would  share  it  with                                                                    
committee members.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   explained  that   the   resolution                                                                    
designated  that Alaska  wanted to  be  at the  table if  35                                                                    
other states passed similar resolutions.  She stated that it                                                                    
was not necessary  to talk about each of  the items outlined                                                                    
in  the  resolution.  She elaborated  that  the  legislature                                                                    
would need  to create  legislation specifying  how delegates                                                                    
would be chosen  (states only received one  vote), and which                                                                    
specific  topics would  be included.  She stressed  that the                                                                    
convention would  not be  able to  discuss items  outside of                                                                    
the  realm   specified  by   the  state   legislatures.  She                                                                    
explained that  35 states  would be  required to  accept the                                                                    
amendment  once it  was put  to  a vote  at the  convention.                                                                    
Subsequently,   the  issue   would  return   to  the   state                                                                    
legislatures;  at   that  time  38  legislatures   would  be                                                                    
required to  pass the amendment without  making any changes.                                                                    
She reiterated that  it was up to the State  of Alaska to be                                                                    
as specific as it chose.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:42:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara communicated  that he  would share  the                                                                    
legal opinion with Representative Wilson.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman commented  that his  personal preference                                                                    
would  be to  concentrate on  balancing the  federal budget.                                                                    
The number of  different issues proposed in HJR  22 gave him                                                                    
pause. He noted that he  had discussed his concerns with the                                                                    
sponsor previously.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman  MOVED to REPORT  HJR 22 out  of committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Costello  OBJECTED   for  discussion.   She                                                                    
pointed to  the one previously published  zero impact fiscal                                                                    
note from the Legislature.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further OBJECTION,  HJR 22 was  REPORTED out                                                                    
of  committee   with  "no   recommendation"  and   with  one                                                                    
previously published zero fiscal note: FN1 (LEG).                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 10                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State                                                                      
     of Alaska creating a transportation infrastructure                                                                         
     fund.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL   GEORGE,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   BILL   STOLTZE,                                                                    
discussed the  changes in  the proposed  CS compared  to the                                                                    
House  Judiciary Committee  version (28-LS0133\N).  He began                                                                    
with page  1, line 14 where  the date July 1,  2014 had been                                                                    
changed to July 1, 2015.  The second change appeared on page                                                                    
2, line  2 where the  words "from  a studded tire  tax" were                                                                    
inserted following  the words "from  a tire tax."  The third                                                                    
change appeared  on page  2, line 6  where the  word "fifty"                                                                    
replaced "50." The final change  appeared on page 2, lines 7                                                                    
and 8  where the  words "studded  tire taxes"  were inserted                                                                    
following the words "tire taxes."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman MOVED  to  ADOPT  the proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for  HJR  10, Work  Draft  28-LS0133\C  (Martin,                                                                    
2/26/14).                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:45:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PEGGY  WILSON,  SPONSOR,  relayed  that  she                                                                    
agreed with  the changes included  in the CS. She  hoped the                                                                    
bill would report out of committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  weighed  in favor  of  protecting  the                                                                    
state's  savings and  funding  transportation  on an  annual                                                                    
basis. He surmised  that if the goal was to  get $80 million                                                                    
out of  the fund annually that  $2 billion would need  to be                                                                    
deposited into the fund. He  pointed out that in the current                                                                    
and  past  fiscal  year  the   state's  capital  budget  for                                                                    
transportation  projects  totaled  $123  million;  operating                                                                    
costs  for  the facilities  would  cost  an additional  $300                                                                    
million. He discussed the benefit  of setting aside specific                                                                    
funds  for  transportation  compared  to  the  burden  of  a                                                                    
quicker depletion of the state's  $17 billion in savings. He                                                                    
detailed  that under  the  governor's  proposal the  state's                                                                    
savings  would be  reduced to  $13 billion  or $14  billion;                                                                    
with the  transportation fund the  savings would  be further                                                                    
depleted to  $11 billion. He  noted that the  depletions did                                                                    
not  include  dealing  with deficits  in  future  years.  He                                                                    
recognized the work that went into  the bill, but he did not                                                                    
believe  it  was  fiscally  prudent.  He  trusted  that  the                                                                    
legislature  would fund  transportation  as  a priority.  He                                                                    
mentioned  competing  funding  needs   from  areas  such  as                                                                    
education,   energy   projects,   rural   development,   job                                                                    
training, the  university, and other.  He believed  the bill                                                                    
had every right to go to the House floor for a vote.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:49:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello thanked  the bill  sponsor for  her                                                                    
work. She  noted that the  bill was limited to  the creation                                                                    
of a  transportation fund. She  shared that if the  idea had                                                                    
been proposed five  to ten years earlier she  would not have                                                                    
been inclined  to support it  given that the state  had been                                                                    
in a  better fiscal  situation. However, she  was supportive                                                                    
of  the  fund  given  that  the  state  was  facing  tougher                                                                    
financial times  in the upcoming  decade. She  observed that                                                                    
under the current administration  there had been three miles                                                                    
of road  built. She discussed  that in good  financial times                                                                    
the  state was  spending money  to pave  and upgrade  roads;                                                                    
however, it was not investing  in new roads providing access                                                                    
to  resources. She  discussed that  the  development of  the                                                                    
state's  natural resources  would  help Alaska  financially.                                                                    
She  expressed   her  support  for  the   concept.  She  had                                                                    
participated in  the subcommittee over the  interim that had                                                                    
traveled to  various communities  to hear about  support for                                                                    
the fund.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman  WITHDREW his  OBJECTION to  the adoption                                                                    
of the CS. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  discussed  the new  fiscal  impact                                                                    
note totaling  $1,500 from the  Office of the  Governor. She                                                                    
noted that  the cost  could increase  to $22,000  related to                                                                    
the possibility of a ballot printing requirement.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  MOVED to  REPORT  CSHJR  10(FIN) out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, CSHJR  10(FIN) was REPORTED out of                                                                    
committee with  "no recommendation" and with  one new fiscal                                                                    
impact note from the Office of the Governor.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:53:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 1:53 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 10 - Version C - HFIN CS.pdf HFIN 2/28/2014 1:30:00 PM
HJR 10