Legislature(2013 - 2014)

04/21/2014 12:01 AM FIN

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12:00:04 AM Start
12:00:04 AM SB119
12:15:46 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 21, 2014                                                                                            
                        12:00 a.m.                                                                                              
12:00:04 AM                                                                                                                   
[Note: Continuation of 4/20/14 9:30 a.m. meeting]                                                                               
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                                                                                                                  
Anne Carpeneti,  Assistant Attorney General,  Legal Services                                                                    
Section-Juneau,  Criminal Division,  Department of  Law; Joe                                                                    
Michel,  Staff, Representative  Bill Stoltze;  Jason Hooley,                                                                    
Legislative  Liaison,   Department  of  Health   and  Social                                                                    
Services; Karen Rehfeld, Director,  Office of Management and                                                                    
Budget, Office of the  Governor; Christopher Poag, Assistant                                                                    
Attorney  General, Department  of  Law; Representative  Mike                                                                    
CSSB 119(FIN)am                                                                                                                 
          BUDGET: CAPITAL                                                                                                       
          HCS CSSB 119(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee                                                                       
          with "no recommendation."                                                                                             
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 119(FIN) am                                                                                            
     "An Act  making and amending  appropriations, including                                                                    
     capital  appropriations,  supplemental  appropriations,                                                                    
     reappropriations,  and   other  appropriations;  making                                                                    
     appropriations to  capitalize funds; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
12:00:04 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative Gara  continued to discuss his  opposition to                                                                    
the reinsertion of $10,000 to  the governor's office for the                                                                    
governor to use on ballot  propositions (page 103, line 12).                                                                    
He noted that the prior  CS had included language related to                                                                    
influencing  the outcome  of an  election, but  it had  been                                                                    
changed and "sanitized" in the  current version. However, AS                                                                    
15.13.145(b) had  been inserted in the  bill, which included                                                                    
language  about  influencing  the  outcome  of  an  election                                                                    
concerning a ballot proposition  or question. He stated that                                                                    
the updated language had the  same effect as the language in                                                                    
the  prior CS.  He did  not like  the language  and did  not                                                                    
believe the state  should spend money to  campaign. He noted                                                                    
that  the  governor and  legislators  could  all talk  about                                                                    
ballot  propositions,  but  money  spent by  the  state  was                                                                    
12:00:44 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms. Rehfeld replied that the  lieutenant governor would hold                                                                    
hearings  and  state  agencies would  be  asked  to  provide                                                                    
information.  She  relayed  that  the law  required  that  a                                                                    
specific appropriation be made  for the purpose of providing                                                                    
the information.                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  stated that  the law related  to public                                                                    
hearings  was  a different  law.  The  law under  discussion                                                                    
included  language pertaining  to  money being  used by  the                                                                    
state  to influence  the outcome  of an  election. He  noted                                                                    
that spending  money on travel  to hearings was  a different                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze  had  difficulty  believing  that  $10,000                                                                    
could be used in an  effective way to influence an election.                                                                    
He pointed  to Eastside  Anchorage Assembly races  that cost                                                                    
$300,000. He believed Mr. Poag's  line of reasoning that the                                                                    
law  provided  state  officials with  protection  from  APOC                                                                    
fines  for   doing  their  duties  as   prescribed  by  law.                                                                    
Additionally,  he  believed  in protecting  state  employees                                                                    
from  potential related  APOC fines.  He  surmised that  Mr.                                                                    
Poag's explanation of the law  seemed logical and intuitive.                                                                    
He reiterated his belief that  $10,000 was not sufficient to                                                                    
effectively influence a statewide election.                                                                                     
Mr. Poag pointed to AS  15.13.145(c)(2) that specified funds                                                                    
could  be  used  to  provide  the  public  with  nonpartisan                                                                    
information  about a  ballot proposition.  He detailed  that                                                                    
the  question and  challenge for  APOC was  related to  what                                                                    
constituted  nonpartisan information.  For example,  a state                                                                    
agency  could talk  about whether  or not  smoking marijuana                                                                    
could  have a  negative influence  on youth  in Alaska.  The                                                                    
question   was  whether   the  information   was  considered                                                                    
nonpartisan;  APOC did  not want  to be  in the  business of                                                                    
deciding  what  was  or  was  not  nonpartisan  information.                                                                    
Therefore,  the agency  took a  bright-line approach  on the                                                                    
issue and because of the  approach the appropriation request                                                                    
would  go  towards  providing  information  about  a  ballot                                                                    
measure  that  may  not under  APOC's  terms  be  considered                                                                    
nonpartisan. He agreed that the  increment did not represent                                                                    
a significant  amount of  funding. He  relayed that  DOL had                                                                    
been  pushing  for the  item  due  to  the lack  of  clarity                                                                    
between  DOL  and   APOC  on  what  was   considered  to  be                                                                    
nonpartisan information.                                                                                                        
Representative  Guttenberg surmised  that  many would  agree                                                                    
with  Mr. Poag's  statements. He  asked who  filed the  APOC                                                                    
paperwork. Mr.  Poag replied that  the agency  utilizing the                                                                    
funds was  required to file  the APOC report. He  noted that                                                                    
the [filing] timeline was set out in statute.                                                                                   
Representative  Guttenberg  agreed  that $10,000  was  a  de                                                                    
minimis  amount  of  funds.  He  wanted  the  department  to                                                                    
understand that someone  would not know they  needed to file                                                                    
an APOC  report. He asked  the department to  follow through                                                                    
with  the appropriation  to ensure  that agencies  accessing                                                                    
the funds file the appropriate APOC paperwork.                                                                                  
12:05:10 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative Gara stated that Mr.  Poag was reading from a                                                                    
statute that was  not cited in the  legislation. He detailed                                                                    
that  the bill  referenced  AS  15.13.145(b) which  included                                                                    
language  that  the  money  may be  used  to  influence  the                                                                    
outcome of  an election. He  did not want state  agencies to                                                                    
have  the ability  to  disseminate  partisan information  at                                                                    
hearings.  He clarified  that Mr.  Poag  was referencing  AS                                                                    
15.13.145(c)(2) that  addressed nonpartisan  information. He                                                                    
stressed  that  subsection  (c)(2)  was  not  cited  in  the                                                                    
Mr. Poag pointed  to the lead-in language  to subsection (c)                                                                    
and relayed that public money  may always be used to provide                                                                    
public  nonpartisan  information.   He  clarified  that  the                                                                    
requested appropriation was  necessary to address situations                                                                    
in   which  money   was  used   for  the   dissemination  of                                                                    
information  that  was  beyond  nonpartisan  in  nature.  He                                                                    
stated that the appropriation  essentially "screams from the                                                                    
rooftop"  that public  funds were  being used  to discuss  a                                                                    
ballot   measure.    Therefore,   the    appropriation   and                                                                    
regulations specified  the specific  purpose. He  noted that                                                                    
the appropriation  had been made  in the past  including for                                                                    
discussion  on  the  2011 Coastal  Zone  Management  Program                                                                    
ballot proposition.                                                                                                             
Representative Gara MOVED to delete  the wording on page 103                                                                    
lines 12 through 17 of the legislation:                                                                                         
     (b)  The  sum  of  $10,000  is  appropriated  from  the                                                                    
     general  fund to  the Office  of the  Governor for  the                                                                    
     purpose  of providing  information about  the potential                                                                    
     effects  of a  ballot proposition,  if approved  by the                                                                    
     voters,  that  will  appear  on  a  statewide  election                                                                    
     ballot in  2014 for  the fiscal  years ending  June 30,                                                                    
     2014, and June 30, 2015.                                                                                                   
     (c)  The statement  of  purpose  for the  appropriation                                                                    
     made in (b) of this  section is intended to satisfy the                                                                    
     requirements in AS 15.13.145(b) and 2 AAC 50.356(a).                                                                       
12:07:28 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson  asked  if the  deletion  would  take                                                                    
money away from the ballot initiatives.                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Stoltze  noted that  the  issue  was separate.  He                                                                    
apologized to  state employees  who may  be subject  to APOC                                                                    
fines for reporting the effects of marijuana on youth.                                                                          
Representative Munoz OBJECTED to the amendment.                                                                                 
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
IN FAVOR: Costello, Gara, Guttenberg, Austerman, Stoltze                                                                        
OPPOSED: Holmes, Munoz, Neuman, Thompson, Wilson, Edgmon                                                                        
The MOTION FAILED (5/6).                                                                                                        
Representative Guttenberg  asked about a  reappropriation to                                                                    
DOL  for  remedial  action  dealing  with  the  Flint  Hills                                                                    
situation   (page  100,   Section  14(c)).   He  asked   for                                                                    
clarification on the item.                                                                                                      
Ms.  Rehfeld answered  that the  attorney  general had  been                                                                    
working  with  Flint  Hills and  Williams  Companies  on  an                                                                    
agreement to  work jointly on the  evaluation of remediation                                                                    
plans. The  funds were  not specifically  for cleanup  as of                                                                    
yet.  She  detailed  that  DOL   had  originally  asked  the                                                                    
governor's  office  to  request  an  appropriation  for  the                                                                    
specific purpose;  the department had  subsequently reviewed                                                                    
its current year appropriation for  the Oil, Gas, and Mining                                                                    
Section for outside  council and had determined  that it had                                                                    
sufficient  funds   available  in  the   appropriation.  The                                                                    
request in  the capital  budget was to  expand the  scope of                                                                    
the appropriation  for use toward the  agreement that should                                                                    
be signed in the current year.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Stoltze asked if there  was objection to moving the                                                                    
Representative Gara OBJECTED to  the removal of $5.6 million                                                                    
in funding for  the Akeela House and  Partners for Progress.                                                                    
He discussed  that $4 million  had been added for  a program                                                                    
that was  not defined in  the letter from DHSS.  He WITHDREW                                                                    
his OBJECTION and  would wait to see an  updated letter from                                                                    
the department.                                                                                                                 
Vice-Chair Neuman MOVED  to REPORT HCS CSSB  119(FIN) out of                                                                    
committee with individual recommendations.                                                                                      
There  being NO  OBJECTION, HCS  CSSB 119(FIN)  was REPORTED                                                                    
out of committee with "no recommendation."                                                                                      
12:13:26 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Edgmon presented  the co-chairs  with signed                                                                    
photos as parting gifts from the committee.                                                                                     
Co-Chair Stoltze was  honored to serve on  the committee for                                                                    
6 years.  He noted  that Co-Chair Austerman  was one  of the                                                                    
finest gentlemen he had worked with.                                                                                            
Co-Chair Austerman appreciated the comments and thanked the                                                                     
12:15:46 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 a.m.                                                                                         

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