Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/10/2000 01:45 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                               
                         April 10, 2000                                                                                         
                            1:45 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
Representative Beverly Masek, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative John Harris                                                                                                      
Representative Carl Morgan                                                                                                      
Representative Ramona Barnes                                                                                                    
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
HOUSE BILL NO. 311                                                                                                              
"An Act eliminating a requirement that a social security number                                                                 
be provided by an applicant for a hunting or sport fishing                                                                      
license or tag."                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 311 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
BILL: HB 311                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NO SOC SEC. # REQ'D ON HUNT/FISH LICENSE                                                                           
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 1/24/00      1986     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 1/24/00      1986     (H)  RES, JUD                                                                                            
 1/26/00      2019     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): THERRIAULT                                                                            
 4/10/00               (H)  RES AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                         
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN COGHILL, JR.                                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 416                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as the sponsor of HB 311.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 421                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 311.                                                                            
TOM CARPENTER, Owner                                                                                                            
Whiskey Ridge Trading Company                                                                                                   
P.O. Box 1663                                                                                                                   
Cordova, Alaska  99574                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 311.                                                                            
MARK CHRYSON                                                                                                                    
2140 Wolverine Circle                                                                                                           
Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 311.                                                                            
ERIC WEATHERS                                                                                                                   
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 311.                                                                            
JAMES GARHART                                                                                                                   
2480 Green Forest Drive                                                                                                         
Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 311.                                                                            
DENNY KAY WEATHERS                                                                                                              
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 311.                                                                            
BARBARA MIKLOS, Director                                                                                                        
Child Support Enforcement Division                                                                                              
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 310                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 311.                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-32, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  MASEK  called  the House  Resources  Standing  Committee                                                              
meeting to  order at  1:45 p.m.   Members present  at the  call to                                                              
order  were Representatives  Masek, Morgan,  Barnes, Whitaker  and                                                              
Kapsner.    Representatives  Cowdery  and Harris  arrived  as  the                                                              
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
HB 311 - NO SOC SEC. # REQ'D ON HUNT/FISH LICENSE                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  MASEK announced  that the  first order  of business  was                                                              
HOUSE  BILL NO.  311, "An  Act eliminating  a  requirement that  a                                                              
social security number  be provided by an applicant  for a hunting                                                              
or sport fishing license or tag."                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN  COGHILL,  JR.,   Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                              
sponsor of  HB 311, stated  that HB 311 is  a bill asking  for the                                                              
elimination  of AS 16.05.330(e),  which  requires that the  social                                                              
security  number   (SSN)  be  provided  on  hunting   and  fishing                                                              
licenses.   He indicated that it  was brought to his  attention by                                                              
several constituents  who found it  very objectionable,  when they                                                              
went to get their  hunting and fishing license, to  have to supply                                                              
their social security  numbers.  The SSN was never  intended to be                                                              
used as a  means of identification,  he said.  It was  meant to be                                                              
used for  tracking benefits  for  those who were  paying into  the                                                              
social  security system.   The  Personal  Responsibility and  Work                                                              
Opportunity  Reconciliation Act  of 1996  was to  help track  down                                                              
"dead-beat  dads."   A  variety of  other  licenses require  SSNs,                                                              
which he also objects  to, but this is where they  wanted to start                                                              
[the legislation].   He believes  that HB 311 will  deprive Alaska                                                              
of the 77  million in federal funding  that is given to  the state                                                              
by   the    Personal   Responsibility    and   Work    Opportunity                                                              
Reconciliation Act.                                                                                                             
Number 0410                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   HARRIS    requested   clarification    that   the                                                              
elimination of the social security  [number requirement] would not                                                              
affect any federal funds that the state receives.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL responded:                                                                                               
     I asked that  question as well, and the answer  is maybe                                                                   
     - I don't know.  But because  it is required  on so many                                                                   
     other licenses  and we are complying with  that, I'd say                                                                   
     no.  I don't  have a definitive answer on  that, but, in                                                                   
     my view, what  is the money worth if we have  to give so                                                                   
     much private and personal information  out?  I think the                                                                   
     whole  Act,  itself,  is  wrong.     This  is  just  the                                                                   
     beginning place to start the  discussion.  And certainly                                                                   
     on licenses  this is not a  requirement in our  fish and                                                                   
     game area."                                                                                                                
Number 0506                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR MASEK referred to the fiscal  note in the packet where it                                                              
states, "The federal funding lost  will be over $14 million a year                                                              
for child support and $63 million a year for public assistance."                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BARNES recalled there  being a federal law relating                                                              
to SSNs that precludes people from having to use them.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL indicated  that he did not know the answer.                                                              
He  said, with  regard to  Representative Masek's  comment on  the                                                              
fiscal  note, that  he is  not sure  it  is a  good legal  [point]                                                              
because the U.S.  Code does not mention the  licenses specifically                                                              
but just  says "recreational."   He pointed  out that  although it                                                              
could be construed  as "recreational," he thinks that  they have a                                                              
good case to say that under particular  circumstances they are not                                                              
going to require  it.  He still  believes that it is  within their                                                              
latitude to do that and that the fiscal note is questionable.                                                                   
Number 0730                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING, Alaska  State Legislature, stated that                                                              
he  supports  HB   311.    Referring  to   Representative  Barnes'                                                              
question,  and said  when the Social  Security  Act was passed  in                                                              
1913,  there  was  concern  that  the number  would  be  used  for                                                              
identification  purposes;  therefore  - according  to  a  reliable                                                              
source  - there was  a major  proviso in  the federal  legislation                                                              
that said the SSN was not for identification purposes.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE   KOHRING   said  he   strongly   objects  to   the                                                              
requirement  of  a SSN  as  a  condition  for issuing  a  driver's                                                              
license.    He  noted  that  several   of  his  constituents  have                                                              
expressed concern with  it, as well, because they  believe that it                                                              
is  a violation  of their  constitutional  right to  privacy.   He                                                              
asked that  the committee entertain  an amendment that  would take                                                              
away the  mandated requirement of a  SSN being issued to  obtain a                                                              
driver's license.   He  further stated  that when social  security                                                              
cards were issued,  the cards clearly noted that  they were not to                                                              
be used  for identification  purposes.   The issue  has become  so                                                              
substantial  that there  is a  court  case pending  in the  Palmer                                                              
District Court, he noted.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE BARNES  indicated she had received a  note from her                                                              
staff saying  that federal  law used to  prohibit use of  SSNs for                                                              
identification, but  Congress has since  changed the law  to allow                                                              
Number 1129                                                                                                                     
TOM  CARPENTER, Owner,  Whiskey Ridge  Trading Company,  testified                                                              
via teleconference from  Cordova.  He indicated that  he is also a                                                              
commercial fisherman  and a vendor of Alaska Department  of Fish &                                                              
Game (ADF&G) licenses and tags.   The problem he sees with the SSN                                                              
being required  is as follows:   Each year, half of  the residents                                                              
and nonresidents are  frustrated and angry that  they are required                                                              
to divulge  their SSNs to purchase  a hunting or  fishing license.                                                              
It causes  more stress and confusion  for him, because if  he does                                                              
not  make them  put  their  SSNs down,  then  the vendor  is  held                                                              
liable.   Probably  10 percent  of those  people refuse  to buy  a                                                              
license and are  fishing or hunting without one.   Also, the state                                                              
is losing funding.                                                                                                              
MR. CARPENTER  said the  SSN is solely  a tracking number  for the                                                              
U.S.  government.   He thinks  the  state should  be outraged  and                                                              
stand up for itself for once, because  the state has been insulted                                                              
plenty.   He  wondered  about the  foreign  visitors  who have  no                                                              
number; they are  still allowed to purchase a  hunting and fishing                                                              
license,  but they  are not  required  to put  a SSN  down.   This                                                              
proves that  it is  only the  U.S. government  that is using  that                                                              
number as a tracking source, he said,  because they have no reason                                                              
to  track foreign  visitors.   Alaska  should  consider why  other                                                              
states are not requiring it, he concluded.                                                                                      
Number 1388                                                                                                                     
MARK   CHRYSON   testified  via   teleconference   from   Wasilla,                                                              
indicating  he is  a resident  of  District 28,  Matanuska-Susitna                                                              
(Mat-Su) Borough, and is the President  of the Alaska Independence                                                              
Party.  He  said he is in favor  of HB 311, which repeals  the law                                                              
that is in violation of the 1974  Privacy Act.  There is a federal                                                              
law that  states that  if the  information is  required and  it is                                                              
misused, there is  a $10,000 fine; therefore,  he wondered whether                                                              
that money will  come out of the state's pocket if  the court case                                                              
in Palmer proves that the law is unconstitutional.                                                                              
MR.  CHRYSON explained  that  people in  the  Mat-Su Borough  have                                                              
stopped  purchasing  hunting  and   fishing  licenses  or  stopped                                                              
renewing their  driver's licenses, which  means that the  state is                                                              
losing money.   The Constitution  of the  State of Alaska  has the                                                              
right to privacy,  he noted, which none of the  other states have.                                                              
Alaskans need  to stand up for  themselves, he said.   He referred                                                              
to  Representative   Kohring's  comment  about  the   1913  Social                                                              
Security Act,  where it states that  the SSN was never  to be used                                                              
for identification purposes.  Mr.  Chryson said the Privacy Act of                                                              
1974 has yet to  be repealed.  He noted that the  SSN is a private                                                              
number   between   the   individual  and   the   Social   Security                                                              
Administration for  the "retirement account."   However, currently                                                              
it is  being used,  as Representative  Coghill  pointed out,  as a                                                              
national identification number.   Many of the representatives have                                                              
heard horror stories about identity  fraud and corruption - people                                                              
stealing other people's  SSNs.  He concluded by  saying the people                                                              
of District 28 want the bill repealed.                                                                                          
Number 1688                                                                                                                     
ERIC  WEATHERS  testified  via teleconference  from  Cordova.    A                                                              
commercial  fisherman, he  spoke  in full  support of  HB 311  but                                                              
asked that  commercial fishing licenses  and driver's  licenses be                                                              
added to  it.  He  said that he  will not  become a burden  on the                                                              
government, because when people accept  money from the government,                                                              
they  become a  servant to  it.   The  majority of  the people  in                                                              
Alaska  do not owe  child support  and will  not collect  welfare;                                                              
there is  only a  small percentage.   The  federal government,  by                                                              
"blackmailing" the  state to collect  SSNs, asserts that  "we" are                                                              
all its subjects.  He quoted Samuel Adams:                                                                                      
     If we  love wealth better  than liberty and  tranquility                                                                   
     of  servitude  better  than   the  animated  contest  of                                                                   
     freedom,  go home from  us in  peace.   We ask not  your                                                                   
     counsel or  your arms.  Crouch  down and lick  the hands                                                                   
     of those  that feed  you.  May  your chains set  lightly                                                                   
     upon  you.    May  posterity  forget  that  you  were  a                                                                   
MR. WEATHERS  stressed that  he will not  give his SSN  to anyone,                                                              
which makes  him a  criminal; therefore,  passing  HB 311 will  be                                                              
keeping  those people  who  choose to  support  themselves out  of                                                              
Number 1789                                                                                                                     
JAMES  GARHART  testified via  teleconference  from  Wasilla.   He                                                              
stated that  he is a resident  of New York currently  domiciled in                                                              
Alaska.   He  noted  that  in the  Constitution  of  the State  of                                                              
Alaska,  under  Article VIII,  Section  3,  Common Use,  it  says,                                                              
"Wherever occurring  in their natural  state, fish,  wildlife, and                                                              
waters are  reserved to  the people for  common use."   He pointed                                                              
out  that  nowhere in  the  constitution  does  it say,  "...  are                                                              
reserved to the people who provide  their social security number."                                                              
He told members:                                                                                                                
     I did some background work on  this, and I found Section                                                                   
     7 of public  law, 93-579.  And basically  what that says                                                                   
     is anybody can ask you for your  social security number,                                                                   
     but if you don't give it to them that they cannot deny                                                                     
     you any right, benefit or privilege.                                                                                       
MR. GARHART indicated  that he had gone fishing  last year without                                                              
a state-issued fishing  license.  He referred to  the comment made                                                              
earlier that foreigners  do not have to provide a  SSN and said it                                                              
irks him that foreigners can come  in and get access to a share of                                                              
the fish  that are supposedly  constitutionally protected  for the                                                              
people.  He urged members to move HB 311 out of the committee.                                                                  
Number 2013                                                                                                                     
DENNY  KAY WEATHERS  testified  via teleconference  from  Cordova.                                                              
She noted that a  staff member had informed her that  HB 311 would                                                              
most  likely  die  in  committee.   She  indicated  that  she  was                                                              
outraged by that  statement because it meant that  the fate of the                                                              
bill had already  been decided before the voice of  the people was                                                              
even  heard.    She  stated  that  HB 311  is  a  great  piece  of                                                              
legislation  and a  good  start in  returning  sovereignty to  the                                                              
state.   She  requested that  the  committee include  in the  bill                                                              
noncommercial  driver's licenses  and  commercial fishing  permits                                                              
and crew licenses.                                                                                                              
MS.  WEATHERS said  there is  no  federal law  requiring that  the                                                              
state must  obtain a SSN for  rights, benefits or privileges.   In                                                              
1935, the  social security  was enacted  as a  federal Act,  not a                                                              
state  Act.   In 1971,  the Social  Security Administration  (SSA)                                                              
issued a task force report on issues  raised by non-program social                                                              
security  use;   the  report   proposed  that   the  SSA   take  a                                                              
conservative position  and do nothing to promote the  use of a SSN                                                              
as an identifier.   In 1974, Ms. Weathers noted,  Congress enacted                                                              
the Privacy  Act; 93-579 limits the  governmental use of  the SSN.                                                              
The  federal, state  and  local  governments are  prohibited  from                                                              
withholding  a right, benefit  or privilege  from a person  simply                                                              
because  the individual  refuses to  furnish his  or her SSN,  she                                                              
said, except under certain circumstances.   She concluded that the                                                              
state is  only required  by federal  law to give  a SSN  for those                                                              
people receiving  federal benefits.   She stressed that  she hopes                                                              
that the  legislators will  stand up for  Alaska and  quit selling                                                              
Number 2253                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BARNES  stated that she does not  appreciate anyone                                                              
saying that she  has sold out.  She noted that  everyone signed up                                                              
to testify  was in support  of HB 311.   She asked  Representative                                                              
Masek if  she would  entertain a  motion to move  HB 311  from the                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  said that she is a little  bit offended by                                                              
some of the people testifying because  the tenure implies that the                                                              
committee members  are not in  favor of the  bill.  She  also does                                                              
not like  to be told  that she is  a sellout.   She said  she came                                                              
into the committee  meeting with the intention of  moving the bill                                                              
out,  but some  of the  testimony  makes her  uncomfortable.   She                                                              
added that she is in favor of moving the bill.                                                                                  
Number 2339                                                                                                                     
BARBARA  MIKLOS,  Director,  Child  Support  Enforcement  Division                                                              
(DCED), Department  of Revenue, testified via  teleconference from                                                              
Anchorage.   She noted that people  have testified that  it is not                                                              
part of federal  law; however, it is.  It is  required that people                                                              
who are  applying for fishing  and hunting licenses  provide their                                                              
SSNs.  It is not necessarily a federal  requirement that the state                                                              
has  to adopt,  but  if the  state  does not  adopt  it, there  is                                                              
approximately  $77  million in  federal  funding  at stake.    She                                                              
agrees  with many  of the  people  testifying on  the issues,  she                                                              
said, but the  federal government was very clear  that [the state]                                                              
would lose all  the child support funding, which  is approximately                                                              
$14  million, as  well as  the public  assistance (IV-A)  funding.                                                              
She added that the requirements are in the Social Security Act.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE BARNES  indicated that  the question of  losing $77                                                              
million  is a  question for  the Finance  Committee.   She made  a                                                              
motion   to  move   HB   311   from  committee   with   individual                                                              
recommendations and  asked for unanimous consent.   There being no                                                              
objection,  HB  311  moved  from   the  House  Resources  Standing                                                              
CO-CHAIR MASEK  adjourned the  House Resources Standing  Committee                                                              
meeting at 2:25 p.m.                                                                                                            

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