Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

03/04/2015 01:00 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:05:07 PM Start
01:05:46 PM Confirmation Hearing:
01:37:49 PM HB83
01:48:02 PM HB65
02:13:12 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 65(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Public Offices Commission
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 83(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 4, 2015                                                                                          
                           1:05 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
ALASKA PUBLIC OFFICES COMMISSION                                                                                              
     WILLIAM McCORD                                                                                                             
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
HOUSE BILL NO. 83                                                                                                               
"An   Act  relating   to  collecting   information  about   civil                                                               
litigation  by  the  Alaska   Judicial  Council;  repealing  Rule                                                               
41(a)(3), Alaska Rules  of Civil Procedure, and  Rules 511(c) and                                                               
(e), Alaska  Rules of Appellate  Procedure; and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - MOVED  CSHB 83(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
HOUSE BILL NO. 65                                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to the  disclosure of financial  information by                                                               
persons  who are  subject to  the Legislative  Ethics Act  and by                                                               
certain  public officers,  public employees,  and candidates  for                                                               
public office."                                                                                                                 
     - MOVED CSHB 65(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB  83                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: JUDICIAL COUNCIL: CIVIL LITIGATION INFO                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LEDOUX                                                                                            
01/28/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/28/15       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/06/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/06/15       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
02/13/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/13/15       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
02/20/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/20/15       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/20/15       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/02/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/02/15       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
03/04/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
BILL: HB  65                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LEG./PUB. OFFICIAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HAWKER                                                                                            
01/21/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
01/27/15       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
01/27/15       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/27/15       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/03/15       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/03/15       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
02/10/15       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/10/15       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 2/12/15>                                                                    
02/12/15       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/12/15       (H)       Moved  CSHB 65(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/12/15       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/13/15       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) 6DP                                                                                    
02/13/15       (H)       DP:     TALERICO,    STUTES,     KELLER,                                                               
                         GRUENBERG, KREISS-TOMKINS, LYNN                                                                        
03/04/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
WILLIAM LEE MCCORD, Appointee                                                                                                   
Alaska Public Offices Commission                                                                                                
Haines, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As appointee to the position of the Alaska                                                               
Public Offices Commission, discussed his qualifications and                                                                     
answered questions.                                                                                                             
CLARK BICKFORD, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented a  brief overview of CSHB  83, on                                                             
behalf of prime sponsor Representative LeDoux.                                                                                  
SUZANNE DIPETRO, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During the  hearing of  CSHB 83,  answered                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE HAWKER                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as prime sponsor of CSHB 65.                                                                   
JULIE LUCKY, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  regarding CSHB  65, as                                                             
staff to the prime sponsor, Representative Mike Hawker.                                                                         
PAUL DAUPHINAIS, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC)                                                                                         
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered  questions  regarding the  Alaska                                                             
Public Offices Commission amendments to CSHB 65.                                                                                
KATHY WASSERMAN                                                                                                                 
Alaska Municipal League (AML)                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified  regarding municipalities and CSHB                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:05:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GABRIELLE  LEDOUX  called  the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting to  order at  1:05 p.m.  Representatives Lynn,                                                               
Claman, Foster,  Keller, and LeDoux  were present at the  call to                                                               
order.   Representative Gruenberg arrived  as the meeting  was in                                                               
^CONFIRMATION HEARING:                                                                                                        
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
                ALASKA PUBLIC OFFICES COMMISSION                                                                            
1:05:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX brought  before the  committee  the appointment  of                                                               
William  McCord to  the  position of  the  Alaska Public  Offices                                                               
Commission (APOC).  [Packet contains biographical  information on                                                               
the appointee.]                                                                                                                 
CHAIR  LEDOUX  advised the  committee  it  would be  hearing  the                                                               
qualification of this individual  today and recommending that his                                                               
name   be  referred   to   the  Joint   House   and  Senate   for                                                               
consideration.  Chair LeDoux reminded  the committee that its job                                                               
is only  to review  the history and  qualifications of  this man.                                                               
She stated there will be no  vote for or against his confirmation                                                               
in  this  committee.   She  highlighted  that  committee  members                                                               
should feel free to ask questions  as they arrive, but to bear in                                                               
mind  that the  committee is  not voting  on his  qualifications,                                                               
merely reviewing them.                                                                                                          
1:06:51 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  LEE MCCORD  said  he  recently moved  to  Haines and  is                                                               
assuming everyone  has the  summary of his  past experience.   He                                                               
said he would like to open the discussion to questions.                                                                         
CHAIR  LEDOUX  asked  if  there  is anything  he  would  like  to                                                               
highlight about his qualifications.                                                                                             
1:07:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. McCORD said  he has a varied background with  broad ranges of                                                               
experience.   Therefore,  he  remarked, it  helps  him relate  to                                                               
people,  and to  process quite  readily, due  to his  experience.                                                               
Also,  he stated,  partially due  to his  formal training  he has                                                               
skills  in being  an objective  observer  and analyst  in how  to                                                               
determine that fairness is injected into any process.                                                                           
1:08:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  referred   to  Mr.  McCord's  application                                                               
regarding conflict  of interest,  wherein he had  answered "Yes,"                                                               
to  the   question  "Would  you   or  your  family   be  affected                                                               
financially by decisions  to be made by the  commission for which                                                               
you are applying."   Representative Keller asked  that he explain                                                               
his answer.                                                                                                                     
MR.   McCORD  said,   with  regard   to  the   particular  phrase                                                               
Representative Keller referred  to, Mr. McCord has  a "No," typed                                                               
on  his copy  of his  application and  related that  possibly the                                                               
committee received a different printout.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER remarked "that answers the question."                                                                     
1:09:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  if  he or  his  family could  be                                                               
affected  financially by  decisions  made by  the commission  and                                                               
further asked that Mr. McCord  explain the potential benefit, [if                                                               
his answer is "yes."]                                                                                                           
MR. McCORD stated that response is very different from his copy.                                                                
CHAIR  LEDOUX  explained  that  the  committee's  copy  read  [as                                                               
Representative Keller stated].                                                                                                  
1:11:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN questioned whether  there is anything about                                                               
serving  on  the  APOC  that will  cause  financial  hardship  or                                                               
difficulty on  him or his family  in any manner, other  than time                                                               
spent going to meetings.                                                                                                        
MR. McCORD responded "There will be no hardship."                                                                               
1:12:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN then  questioned  whether  there would  be                                                               
financial consequences from serving on the commission.                                                                          
1:12:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. McCORD responded "I do not anticipate any."                                                                                 
1:12:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether Mr. McCord  saw potential                                                               
benefit of a non-financial manner, political, or otherwise.                                                                     
MR.  McCORD  said  that he  is  so  new  to  Alaska it  would  be                                                               
difficult  for him  to  envision  anything in  that  manner.   He                                                               
remarked  that most  Libertarians  do not  have  an advantage  of                                                               
anything.   "Seriously," he related,  he does not  anticipate any                                                               
particular  advantage,  and  he   is  not  participating  in  any                                                               
campaigns or  any effort to  reap the benefits of  something like                                                               
this.  He  further related that this is five  year commitment and                                                               
he takes it quite seriously.                                                                                                    
1:14:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked how long Mr. McCord has lived in Alaska.                                                                     
MR. McCORD responded  "since May of this year," and  said he is a                                                               
year-round resident.                                                                                                            
1:14:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN noted that Mr. McCord  spent a lot of time in                                                               
Heidelberg Germany and asked how he happened to be in Germany.                                                                  
MR. McCORD advised he was a military dependent.                                                                                 
1:16:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked what  typically would come  before the                                                               
APOC for review.                                                                                                                
MR.  McCORD  testified that  a  complaint  might be  filed  about                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  further asked what type  of complaints might                                                               
someone in the public file.                                                                                                     
MR.  McCORD  responded  that  failure  to  report  would  be  one                                                               
example,  or   failure  to  meet  the   deadline  for  reporting,                                                               
misreporting -  which would be  researched by the staff  and they                                                               
would  document dates,  times and  amounts involved  in terms  of                                                               
1:17:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX  quiered as  a  member  of the  Libertarian  party,                                                               
whether he believes the functions  of the APOC are an appropriate                                                               
governmental function.                                                                                                          
MR.  McCORD answered  that he  uses an  analogy in  that when  an                                                               
individual is swimming  in a stream, the individual  swims in the                                                               
best and  most fluid manner to  swim.  He further  answered there                                                               
are  certain things  people have  to deal  with, such  as two-way                                                               
streets in  that he drives on  the right side of  the street like                                                               
everyone else.   He  described the  APOC as an  agency that  is a                                                               
necessary part of our living  and working together in a political                                                               
environment, and he accepts it as  a Libertarian in spite of some                                                               
of the philosophies people may have heard.                                                                                      
1:19:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  said that under the  APOC rules, which are  made by                                                               
the legislature  and the APOC  enforces, people are  only allowed                                                               
to donate $500  maximum per candidate.  In the  event someone has                                                               
donated more,  it is an APOC  violation.  She asked  whether that                                                               
is something  appropriate for the government  to have legislated.                                                               
She further  asked that if he  does not think it  is appropriate,                                                               
could he still enforce it.                                                                                                      
MR. McCORD responded that as a  member of the commission it would                                                               
not be  his decision  to make,  as it is  for the  legislature to                                                               
make.   He described his  job on the APOC  as to decide  with the                                                               
other members, as  a collective body, whether or not  there is an                                                               
actual  violation, and  whether  the penalty  is  fair under  the                                                               
rules.   He said he is  not to judge  whether or not the  rule is                                                               
acceptable as that is for the legislature.                                                                                      
1:20:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  questioned   Mr.  McCord's  motivation  for                                                               
applying for the position on the APOC.                                                                                          
MR. McCORD said he has a  long history of public service and this                                                               
unexpected opportunity "shows up" for  a "Libertarian only" to be                                                               
on the  [commission].  He related  that his contacts told  him he                                                               
should submit  his name, so  he did as this  would be a  good way                                                               
for  him to  be  immediately  involved in  what  is happening  in                                                               
1:21:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN noted  that when a member  renders a decision                                                               
against  a person  to  whom  a complaint  has  been  filed it  is                                                               
supposed to be  a non-partisan decision.  He opined  that it does                                                               
not matter  which party the person  is a member, it  matters only                                                               
what the person may, or may  not have done.  Partisanship must be                                                               
kept out of it, he related.                                                                                                     
MR. McCORD answered "Precisely."                                                                                                
1:21:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG quiered whether  he initially applied to                                                               
APOC or  just for the Professional  Teaching Practices Commission                                                               
MR. McCORD said he applied for both.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  further quiered  what compelled  him to                                                               
apply for the APOC.                                                                                                             
MR. McCORD responded  that the State of Washington  has an almost                                                               
identical history in terms of  public disclosure.  He opined that                                                               
based on his  experience, he felt he  could do a good  job on the                                                               
APOC, in as  much as he is somewhat familiar  with the disclosure                                                               
requirements in Washington.                                                                                                     
1:23:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG referred  to  Mr. McCord's  application                                                               
and his community  service and stated [his  application] does not                                                               
relate  to anything  like  the APOC.    He asked  if  he had  any                                                               
experience in anything political or similar to the APOC.                                                                        
MR. McCORD remarked  that he had not as an  appointee, but he has                                                               
experience regarding  the consideration of  issues.  He  asked if                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg  was asking  him  whether  he was  ever                                                               
involved  in  anything that  required  enforcement.   Mr.  McCord                                                               
asked if he was restating that correctly.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG replied "Please continue."                                                                             
MR. McCORD  responded that he  has not been directly  involved in                                                               
any enforcement type of role.                                                                                                   
1:24:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  questioned  if  he had  ever  run  for                                                               
office, or been  involved in a campaign, or had  any dealing with                                                               
the equivalent agency in Washington, or elsewhere.                                                                              
MR. McCORD advised he ran for office in the State of Washington.                                                                
1:24:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked for the details of his campaign.                                                                 
MR. McCORD stated he has  gone through the petitioning process in                                                               
order  to run  for office,  the  filing fee  process, the  public                                                               
announcement  at  the  convention,   and  reporting  of  campaign                                                               
1:25:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked which office he ran for.                                                                         
MR. McCORD related that he  ran for Congress and subsequently for                                                               
the state legislature.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether he had  any dealings with                                                               
the  equivalent  agency  in  Washington  in  the  capacity  of  a                                                               
witness, or  lodging a complaint,  or a complaint  lodged against                                                               
1:26:06 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. McCORD replied "No, I have not."                                                                                            
1:26:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that  Mr. McCord arrived in Alaska                                                               
in May of 2014,  and asked how long after that  did he submit his                                                               
MR.   McCORD  responded   that  he   submitted  his   application                                                               
electronically on 12/29/14.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  quiered if someone asked  him to submit                                                               
his application to the APOC.                                                                                                    
MR. McCORD  replied that it  was suggested by the  existing party                                                               
members  as it  became clear  from the  election how  things were                                                               
going to  stack up in  terms of openings on  the APOC.   He noted                                                               
that the two parties with the most votes would be eligible.                                                                     
1:27:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  referred to  his resume that  indicates he                                                               
was  appointed  to two  Washington  commissions  by Governor  Dan                                                               
Evens, in 1970 and asked the name of the two commissions.                                                                       
MR. McCORD answered that one  commission selected and interviewed                                                               
candidates   for  the   Department  of   Ecology.     The  second                                                               
commission,   Special   Levy   Study   Commission,   dealt   with                                                               
determining methods to finance the public school system.                                                                        
1:28:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   asked  whether  during  either   of  the                                                               
commissions he was a member of the Libertarian Party.                                                                           
MR.  McCORD noted  that at  that  time there  was no  Libertarian                                                               
Party as  it was  initially started  in 1971,  and wasn't  on the                                                               
ballot until 1972.                                                                                                              
1:29:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN assumed  Mr. McCord became a  member of the                                                               
Libertarian  party   after  it   became  an  official   party  in                                                               
MR. McCORD answered in the affirmative.                                                                                         
1:29:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   ask  for  clarification   regarding  his                                                               
service on the REI Board, and  further asked if it is the company                                                               
that sells outdoor gear.                                                                                                        
MR. McCORD said "I'm glad you recognized it."                                                                                   
1:29:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  quiered  whether  his  Libertarian  views                                                               
interfered  with  his ability  to  function  effectively on  that                                                               
MR.   McCORD   asked   what  Representative   Claman   meant   by                                                               
1:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  objected as  a point of  order that  it is                                                               
not  an appropriate  question and  if the  person had  identified                                                               
another  party  it would  be  same  response from  Representative                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  responded  that  Representative  Keller's                                                               
objection is well considered.  He  advised he was following up on                                                               
the  prior  questions of  Chair  LeDoux  with regard  to  whether                                                               
Libertarians suggest that government has  no role, and whether he                                                               
agrees or disagrees with that perspective.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER replied that the point is well taken.                                                                     
1:31:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   noted  that  Mr.  McCord   worked  as  a                                                               
fisheries observer in  Alaska and surmised that  job required Mr.                                                               
McCord  to assess  whether  someone  is following  the  law.   He                                                               
quiered whether he could perform  his duties consistent with what                                                               
the law required.                                                                                                               
MR. McCORD responded in the  affirmative and said he served under                                                               
the  National Marines  Fisheries Service  and technically  was an                                                               
observer on a  foreign fishing vessel by treaty  arrangement.  He                                                               
explained  that under  the treaty  arrangement,  the observer  is                                                               
similar to  a junior officer and  reported the catch on  a weekly                                                               
basis.  The observer was given  different codes in order to stand                                                               
back in  case there was some  aberration in the catch.   The U.S.                                                               
Coast  Guard and  National Marine  Fisheries  Service might  then                                                               
arrange some  type of boarding  for an inspection,  if necessary,                                                               
he related.                                                                                                                     
1:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN asked what brought  Mr. McCord to Alaska from                                                               
State of Washington.                                                                                                            
MR.  McCORD  responded  he  wanted  to  live  here  for  personal                                                               
CHAIR LEDOUX  closed public testimony  after ascertaining  no one                                                               
further wished to testify.                                                                                                      
1:33:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to forward  the name of  William Lee                                                               
McCord  to  the  joint  session  of  the  House  and  Senate  for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected for discussion.                                                                               
1:34:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX advised Representative Gruenberg  that this is not a                                                               
vote on whether the committee thinks  he is qualified or think he                                                               
is  not  qualified.   She  expressed  there  are no  grounds  for                                                               
discussion as everyone has their own view.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG responded  that he  did not  know where                                                               
there was  an allowable objection  and if so, what  the allowable                                                               
grounds  would be  because he  has  never been  in the  situation                                                               
where a member has objected.                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX stated "Let's not make this the first time."                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew his objection.                                                                                
[There  being   no  further   objection,  the   confirmation  was                                                               
1:35:09 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 1:35 p.m. to 1:37 p.m.                                                                       
CHAIR LEDOUX passed the gavel to Vice Chair Keller.                                                                             
1:37:44 PM                                                                                                                    
         HB  83-JUDICIAL COUNCIL: CIVIL LITIGATION INFO                                                                     
1:37:49 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR KELLER  announced  that the  next  order of  business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL  NO.  83, "An  Act  relating to  collecting                                                               
information  about  civil  litigation   by  the  Alaska  Judicial                                                               
Council;  repealing   Rule  41(a)(3),   Alaska  Rules   of  Civil                                                               
Procedure, and  Rules 511(c) and  (e), Alaska Rules  of Appellate                                                               
Procedure; and  providing for  an effective  date."   [Before the                                                               
committee was CSHB 83 (JUD), adopted 2/20/2015.]                                                                                
1:38:17 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR KELLER advised that  public testimony is closed and it                                                               
will not be reopened unless there is a request to testify.                                                                      
1:38:56 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at ease.                                                                                             
1:39:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CLARK  BICKFORD, Staff,  Representative Gabrielle  LeDoux, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, said  CSHB 83  would repeal  a 1997  law that                                                               
requires  civil   litigation  reports  to  the   Alaska  Judicial                                                               
Council.  He reiterated from  his previous testimony that the law                                                               
has been  widely ignored, ineffective,  and not supported  by the                                                               
legal community.   He referred to the last  hearing wherein there                                                               
was a question regarding what would  happen to the funds given to                                                               
the  Alaska  Judicial  Council   for  [reviewing  the  data]  and                                                               
preparing reports, and  advised that Susanne Dipietro  is on line                                                               
to address that question.                                                                                                       
1:40:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER opened public testimony.                                                                                  
1:41:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SUZANNE  DIPETRO, Executive  Director,  Alaska Judicial  Council,                                                               
Alaska  Court System,  stated that  her research  indicates there                                                               
was an amount of money put  in the Alaska Judicial Council's base                                                               
budget, when the  law was passed in 1997 or  1998, to provide the                                                               
resources in order to perform the  work.  She explained the funds                                                               
are available  to be returned  if the Alaska Judicial  Council is                                                               
no longer required to do the work.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  advised that it  is out of the  purview of                                                               
the bill, and  he is sure the information will  go forward to the                                                               
House Finance Committee.                                                                                                        
1:42:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX quiered  that the  money  was put  into the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial  Council budget  in 1997,  or 1998,  and one  report has                                                               
been prepared.                                                                                                                  
MS. DIPIETRO advised three reports have been prepared.                                                                          
1:42:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX surmised  it  has  not been  a  yearly report,  and                                                               
questioned how much  money is left since the  yearly reports have                                                               
not been prepared.                                                                                                              
MS.  DIPIETRO  explained  that although  reports  have  not  been                                                               
prepared because the data has been ...                                                                                          
CHAIR LEDOUX  interjected that  she is  not blaming  Ms. Dipietro                                                               
for not  doing the reports, she  was just curious how  much money                                                               
is left.                                                                                                                        
MS. DIPIETRO depicted  that the work is still  being performed in                                                               
the sense of collecting the data,  of which they receive a couple                                                               
of forms  from attorneys each  day, determine if  the information                                                               
is  correct,  enter  the  information into  the  data  base,  and                                                               
maintain the  data base.   The Alaska Judicial Council  has daily                                                               
activities in  order to fulfill  the requirements of  the statute                                                               
that do not involve report writing.                                                                                             
1:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked how much money was put into the base.                                                                        
MS.  DIPIETRO, in  describing  her records  as  spotty, said  the                                                               
amount was $19,200 a year.                                                                                                      
CHAIR  LEDOUX deduced  that putting  the sporadic  data that  the                                                               
Alaska  Judicial  Council  has  received,  which  appears  to  be                                                               
relatively  minimal, into  the  data  base at  a  cost of  almost                                                               
$20,000 a year.                                                                                                                 
MS. DIPIETRO  stipulated that  the work was  not erratic,  as the                                                               
data is  regular, and involves  following up when  information is                                                               
incomplete or  appears inaccurate  with telephone  calls, emails,                                                               
and  letters  to attorneys.    She  highlighted that  the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial Council is using that money to perform the work.                                                                       
1:44:51 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  KELLER reiterated that  the issue  may be out  of the                                                               
purview of the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                              
1:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved  to report the proposed  CS for HB                                                               
83,  Version 29-LS0410\H,  Wallace, 2/5/15,  from committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                               
There  being no  objection  CSHB 83(JUD)  was  reported from  the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 1:45:52 to 1:48:02 p.m.                                                                      
VICE CHAIR KELLER returned the gavel to Chair LeDoux.                                                                           
         HB  65-LEG./PUB. OFFICIAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE                                                                     
1:48:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  65,  "An  Act relating  to  the  disclosure  of                                                               
financial  information   by  persons  who  are   subject  to  the                                                               
Legislative  Ethics Act  and by  certain public  officers, public                                                               
employees,  and  candidates  for  public office."    [Before  the                                                               
committee was CSHB 65(STA).]                                                                                                    
1:48:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE HAWKER,  Alaska State  Legislature, speaking                                                               
as prime  sponsor said that  originally the bill was  intended to                                                               
change   the  [deadline]   of  the   public  official   financial                                                               
disclosures (POFD) which are required  to be filed.  He explained                                                               
all public officials, whether in  the state legislature, or local                                                               
governments,   or  boards   and  commissions,   must  file   full                                                               
disclosures  of  their  financial transactions  of  the  previous                                                               
year.    He extended  that  the  bill  takes  no issue  with  the                                                               
substance of those  filings, but rather that,  under statute, the                                                               
disclosures are due on March 15.   Originally, the bill moved the                                                               
date back  to after  the date of  an individual's  federal income                                                               
tax  filing  requirement.    He  opined  that  this  would  allow                                                               
individuals  with   complex  financial  situations  to   file  an                                                               
accurate and comprehensive  report within the same  time frame as                                                               
they are  required by  federal statute to  have their  income tax                                                               
returns  completed, without  an extension.   He  stated that  the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee  agreed with idea but said                                                               
the April 30  date was a little  quick and moved the  date to May                                                               
15.   He explained  that the  crux of the  bill would  change the                                                               
annual  filing dates  for legislative  financial disclosures  and                                                               
public official's  financial disclosure statements from  March 15                                                               
to May 15, of each year.                                                                                                        
1:50:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER noted  further  changes in  the bill  with                                                               
regard   to   professionals,    such   as   attorneys,   doctors,                                                               
accountants, engineers, architects, or  independent nurses with a                                                               
multitude of  clients and are  required to disclose all  of their                                                               
clients and revenues.  He  further noted that attorneys can claim                                                               
attorney-client  privilege, and  there are  accountants who  will                                                               
not  allow individuals  to disclose  their client  base, and  the                                                               
amount  they  are  being paid.    Therefore,  through  regulatory                                                               
activity  the  APOC  has  allowed  them  to  not  disclose  those                                                               
clients, he  said.  Statutorily,  he stated that the  language in                                                               
the  bill makes  it  very  clear that  a  public official  public                                                               
disclosure filer  could be  exempted from  disclosing information                                                               
if  that  information is  either  confidential  by law  or  would                                                               
adversely affect  the individual's  ability to  conduct business.                                                               
The bill  then sets up the  standard to weigh the  potential harm                                                               
to the person comparing it  to the public's interest in obtaining                                                               
that information, he related.                                                                                                   
1:52:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER continued that  two provisions were brought                                                               
forward  by the  APOC  itself, which  includes various  reporting                                                               
requirements as  it relates to different  individuals residing in                                                               
different communities  of different  size.   He said  the sponsor                                                               
has no opinion on the APOC request.                                                                                             
1:52:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN concluded  that  the  APOC recommended  an                                                               
increase in population from 5,000  to 15,000, and it appears that                                                               
the sponsor is neutral.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER stated he has no opinion on that subject.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER responded to  Representative Claman that in                                                               
the  interest of  accommodating  the concerns  of  the APOC,  the                                                               
sponsor  does not  object to  include  its request  in this  bill                                                               
knowing  it  would go  through  the  legislative process  and  on                                                               
various committees  with the opportunity  to discuss it  with the                                                               
1:53:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  referred  to  the  waiver  of  disclosing                                                               
clients  is one  that professionals,  such as,  lawyers, doctors,                                                               
nurses would have to make a  special request for the waiver as it                                                               
would not automatically apply.                                                                                                  
JULIE  LUCKY, Staff,  Representative  Mike  Hawker, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  responded to  Representative Claman  that there  is                                                               
currently  a waiver  process where  the person  does put  forth a                                                               
letter  to the  APOC  and the  person is  granted  a waiver  from                                                               
disclosure.   She  opined that  the reporting  reads, instead  of                                                               
naming address of client it will  now say "protected by HIPPA, or                                                               
attorney-client  privilege,  or   some  notation"  regarding  the                                                               
information is not being disclosed.                                                                                             
1:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  DAUPHINAIS,  Executive   Director,  Alaska  Public  Offices                                                               
Commission  (APOC), Department  of  Administration, responded  to                                                               
Representative  Claman  that  the  bill  puts  the  process  into                                                               
statute rather than solely in  regulation and it would not change                                                               
the process of  the APOC "much at  all, if at all."   He noted an                                                               
earlier comment of  individual granted a waiver  or exemption for                                                               
reporting all  of their  clients, the  individual can  report the                                                               
aggregate amount and not refer  to the clients; others report the                                                               
clients  in  an  abbreviated manner,  and  eliminate  identifying                                                               
information, and list the income.                                                                                               
1:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked if there  is a formal request lawyers                                                               
and doctors  and write to the  APOC, or simply make  the claim on                                                               
their form.                                                                                                                     
MR. DAUPHINAIS responded that  in general, individuals requesting                                                               
the exemption write to the  APOC and explain their situation, and                                                               
the APOC goes from there.                                                                                                       
CHAIR LEDOUX opened public testimony                                                                                            
1:57:33 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHY  WASSERMAN,  Alaska  Municipal  League  (AML),  stated  the                                                               
committee  substitute  changes  the  population  figures  to  now                                                               
require municipalities between the  population count of 5,000 and                                                               
15,000,  to file  electronically.   The  Alaska Municipal  League                                                               
(AML) had not  heard from the APOC that the  change was coming as                                                               
no one called any of the clerks  involved.  She said she does not                                                               
have the list of municipalities  that have opted out, but without                                                               
that list it affects 12 different  communities.  While it may not                                                               
be  a  stretch  to  require   electronic  filing  in  the  larger                                                               
communities,  but   places  such   as  Bethel  it   becomes  more                                                               
difficult, she  noted.  She  related that  many of the  clerks do                                                               
have people filing  by paper.  She maintained she  was told by an                                                               
individual at the APOC this was  requested by the clerks in order                                                               
to allow  them more  time because it  required [a  certain amount                                                               
of] their time.  She referred to AS 39.50.020(b), which read:                                                                   
     (b) A  public official or former  public official other                                                                    
     than an  elected or  appointed municipal  officer shall                                                                    
     file  the  statement  with the  Alaska  Public  Offices                                                                    
     Commission. Candidates  for the office of  governor and                                                                    
     lieutenant  governor  and,  if  the  candidate  is  not                                                                    
     subject  to AS  24.60, the  legislature shall  file the                                                                    
     statement  under AS  15.25.030 or  15.25.180. Municipal                                                                    
     officers,  former  municipal officers,  and  candidates                                                                    
     for  elective municipal  office,  shall  file with  the                                                                    
     municipal clerk or  other municipal official designated                                                                    
     to  receive their  filing  for  office. All  statements                                                                    
     required  to be  filed  under this  chapter are  public                                                                    
MS. WASSERMAN continued  her testimony and stated  that this does                                                               
not save the clerks' time as they  still must get a paper copy on                                                               
file in  their office.   She opined that  in the future  when the                                                               
APOC desires  changing rules that  it talk  to the clerks,  or to                                                               
the municipalities.   She expressed  that AML is opposed  to that                                                               
section  of  the  bill  and  would  like  that  portion  removed,                                                               
otherwise AML does not have a problem with the bill.                                                                            
2:01:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked whether Ms. Wasserman  is testifying                                                               
as a representative of the AML.                                                                                                 
MS. WASSERMAN answered in the affirmative.                                                                                      
2:01:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WASSERMAN reiterated  to  Representative  Claman that  other                                                               
than the above portion, AML has  no problem with the bill at all.                                                               
She directed that she discussed the  bill with the clerks who "in                                                               
theory" had requested this, and they said "they had not."                                                                       
2:01:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  asked  for   clarification  that  if  the                                                               
committee does  not put  the amendment  in as  an option,  AML is                                                               
happy with the bill.                                                                                                            
MS. WASSERMAN  stated that AML  is not  happy with the  bill that                                                               
states communities between 5,000 and 15,000 should be included.                                                                 
2:02:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX questioned  Mr. Dauphinais  where  he received  the                                                               
idea  of  changing the  numbers  for  the municipalities  to  the                                                               
15,000 level.                                                                                                                   
MR.  DAUPHINAIS responded  that over  the last  couple of  years,                                                               
both  he and  his  staff have  given a  number  of trainings  and                                                               
presentations.   He  remarked were  approached  several times  by                                                               
clerks   requesting   a   manner    their   filers   could   file                                                               
electronically.  He opined that  if they have since changed their                                                               
mind,  the APOC  has no  problem with  that portion  of the  bill                                                               
being removed, and he apologized to the sponsor.                                                                                
2:03:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX verified  that he  did  not check  with the  clerks                                                               
MR. DAUPHINAIS responded "That is correct."                                                                                     
2:03:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  asked that  from  the  standpoint of  the                                                               
APOC, whether  the 5,000  to 15,000  has any  impact in  terms of                                                               
doing business.                                                                                                                 
MR. DAUPHINAIS relayed that it would  not change the way the APOC                                                               
does business at all and it is completely cost neutral.                                                                         
2:04:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX  quiered  that  as the  law  currently  stands,  an                                                               
individual who is  not required to file  electronically wishes to                                                               
file  electronically,  whether  they are  precluded  from  filing                                                               
MR. DAUPHINAIS responded  "No, they are not," as  anyone can file                                                               
CHAIR  LEDOUX said  she was  having a  problem understanding  why                                                               
then the clerks  would have approached him to  change the numbers                                                               
if individuals were already allowed to file electronically.                                                                     
MR.  DAUPHINAIS offered  that the  clerks told  him it  was quite                                                               
bothersome  for them  in that  they had  to maintain  a stack  of                                                               
forms, and  give them out to  the filers and later  collect them,                                                               
and later  give them  to the  APOC in some  manner.   When filers                                                               
file electronically,  they are  already filed  with the  APOC and                                                               
[print]  the copy  and give  it to  the clerk,  or the  clerk can                                                               
print a copy.  He offered  that Ms. Wasserman was correct in that                                                               
the municipal clerk is the custodial of the record.                                                                             
CHAIR LEDOUX expressed  that her confusion is  if the individuals                                                               
are able to file electronically  without changing the rules, then                                                               
they really didn't have to keep ...  she said she did not see why                                                               
it would have been burdensome to the clerks.                                                                                    
2:06:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WASSERMAN responded  to Representative  Foster that  she did                                                               
not mean to just zero in on  Bethel as her records showed that 12                                                               
communities  were involved  and  related  that electronic  filing                                                               
will be much more difficult in  the Northwest Artic Borough or in                                                               
the North Slope Borough.                                                                                                        
2:07:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  Version 29-                                                               
LS0070\N.1, Wayne, 3/3/15, which read:                                                                                          
Page 2, line 11:                                                                                                                
     Delete "5,000"                                                                                                         
     Insert "15,000"                                                                                                            
Page 2, line 14:                                                                                                                
     Delete "[15,000]"                                                                                                          
Page 5, line 10:                                                                                                                
     Delete "5,000"                                                                                                         
     Insert "15,000"                                                                                                            
Page 5, line 13:                                                                                                                
     Delete "may [15,000 SHALL]"                                                                                            
     Insert "shall"                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  objected and  stated that  after listening                                                               
to the  testimony he did not  believe the bill should  be amended                                                               
to  change  the  number  from  5,000 to  15,000,  as  the  clerks                                                               
affected are content with 5,000.                                                                                                
2:08:27 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 2:08:27 to 2:10:06 p.m.                                                                      
2:10:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN withdrew his objection.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER asked for  clarification that the committee                                                               
would be adopting the 15,000 number.                                                                                            
2:11:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. LUCKY explained  that the current statute has  a threshold of                                                               
a community with  a population of 15,000  wherein those municipal                                                               
officers currently can choose to  paper file, or electronic file.                                                               
She  opined that  a great  number of  those people  do choose  to                                                               
electronic file, which is allowed  under current law.  During the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee  hearing, an amendment was                                                               
adopted to  drop the threshold  to 5,000.   She advised  that the                                                               
sponsor has  heard from AML and  a few of the  boroughs that they                                                               
are concerned with  that change.  She explained  that Amendment 1                                                               
would  leave  the  status  quo  in  the  statute.    She  further                                                               
explained that there would be  no change to the current threshold                                                               
which is  a municipality  with a population  of 15,000  or fewer,                                                               
and would still have the option  of either paper filing or filing                                                               
2:12:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX   [treating  the   objection  as   withdrawn]  said                                                               
Amendment 1 passes.                                                                                                             
2:12:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to  report CSHB  65,  Version  29-                                                               
LS0070\N.1,  Wayne, 3/3/15,  as  amended, out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being no  objection, CSHB  65(JUD) was  reported from  the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
2:13:12 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:13 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB065 v N.PDF HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65
HB065 Supporting Documents - Letter Jon Cook 2-2-2015.pdf HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65
HB065 Summary of Changes ver A to ver N.pdf HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65
HB065 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65
HB065 Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65
HB065 Fiscal Note-2-2-021315-LEG-N.PDF HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65
HB065 Fiscal Note-1-2-021315-ADM-N.PDF HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65
HB065 Documents - POFD-LFD Template.pdf HJUD 3/4/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 65