Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/19/2001 02:15 PM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                 HOUSE RULES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                               
                         April 19, 2001                                                                                         
                           2:15 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Pete Kott, Chair                                                                                                 
Representative Brian Porter                                                                                                     
Representative Carl Morgan                                                                                                      
Representative Lesil McGuire                                                                                                    
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                                                                  
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Vic Kohring                                                                                                      
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Senator Dave Donley                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 103(FIN)                                                                                                 
"An Act relating to election campaigns and legislative ethics."                                                                 
     - MOVED HCS CSSB 103(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                 
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
BILL: SB 103                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/20/01     0432       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
02/20/01     0432       (S)        STA, JUD                                                                                     
02/22/01                (S)        STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
02/22/01                (S)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
02/22/01                (S)        MINUTE(STA)                                                                                  
02/27/01                (S)        STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
02/27/01                (S)        Moved CS(STA) Out of                                                                         
02/27/01                (S)        MINUTE(STA)                                                                                  
02/28/01     0534       (S)        STA RPT CS 2DP 3NR NEW TITLE                                                                 
02/28/01     0534       (S)        DP: THERRIAULT, HALFORD; NR:                                                                 
02/28/01     0534       (S)        PEARCE, DAVIS                                                                                
02/28/01     0534       (S)        FN1: (ADM)                                                                                   
03/09/01                (S)        JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
03/12/01                (S)        JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
03/12/01                (S)        Moved CS(JUD) Out of                                                                         
03/13/01     0634       (S)        JUD RPT CS 2DP 1DNP 1NR NEW                                                                  
03/13/01     0635       (S)        DP: TAYLOR, COWDERY; DNP:                                                                    
03/13/01     0635       (S)        NR: THERRIAULT                                                                               
03/13/01     0635       (S)        FN1: (ADM)                                                                                   
03/13/01     0635       (S)        FIN REFERRAL ADDED AFTER JUD                                                                 
03/22/01                (S)        FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                                                                
03/22/01                (S)        MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                  
03/23/01     0783       (S)        FIN RPT CS 3DP 2NR NEW TITLE                                                                 
03/23/01     0783       (S)        DP: DONLEY, KELLY, LEMAN;                                                                    
03/23/01     0783       (S)        NR: HOFFMAN, OLSON                                                                           
03/23/01     0783       (S)        FN2: (ADM)                                                                                   
03/23/01                (S)        FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                                                                
03/23/01                (S)        MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                  
03/28/01                (S)        RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP                                                                   
03/29/01     0858       (S)        RULES TO CALENDAR 2OR 3/29/01                                                                
03/29/01     0863       (S)        READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                         
03/29/01     0863       (S)        FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                                                                  
03/29/01     0863       (S)        ADVANCED TO THIRD READING                                                                    
                                   UNAN CONSENT                                                                                 
03/29/01     0863       (S)        READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB
03/29/01     0864       (S)        PASSED Y17 N2 A1                                                                             
03/29/01     0867       (S)        TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                           
03/29/01     0867       (S)        VERSION: CSSB 103(FIN)                                                                       
03/30/01     0782       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/30/01     0782       (H)        STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                
04/03/01     0825       (H)        STA RPT 4DP 2DNP 1NR                                                                         
04/03/01     0825       (H)        DP: WILSON, FATE, JAMES,                                                                     
04/03/01     0826       (H)        DNP: CRAWFORD, HAYES; NR:                                                                    
04/03/01     0826       (H)        FN2: (ADM)                                                                                   
04/03/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
04/03/01                (H)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
04/03/01                (H)        MINUTE(STA)                                                                                  
04/09/01                (H)        JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                   
04/09/01                (H)        Moved HCS SB 103(JUD) Out of                                                                 
04/10/01     0926       (H)        JUD RPT HCS(JUD) NT 2DP 1DNP                                                                 
04/10/01     0926       (H)        TITLE CHANGE PENDING HCR 15                                                                  
04/10/01     0927       (H)        DP: MEYER, JAMES; DNP:                                                                       
04/10/01     0927       (H)        NR: COGHILL, ROKEBERG                                                                        
04/10/01     0927       (H)        FN2: (ADM)                                                                                   
04/10/01                (H)        FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE                                                                 
04/10/01                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
04/11/01     0954       (H)        FIN RPT HCS(FIN) 6DP 1NR 1AM                                                                 
04/11/01     0955       (H)        DP: WHITAKER, HARRIS,                                                                        
04/11/01     0955       (H)        HUDSON, MULDER, WILLIAMS; NR:                                                                
04/11/01     0955       (H)        AM: DAVIES                                                                                   
04/11/01     0955       (H)        FN2: (ADM)                                                                                   
04/11/01     0963       (H)        RULES TO CALENDAR 4/11/01                                                                    
04/11/01     0963       (H)        READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                         
04/11/01     0964       (H)        FIN HCS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                                                                 
04/11/01     0964       (H)        HELD IN SECOND READING                                                                       
04/11/01                (H)        FIN AT 8:30 AM HOUSE FINANCE                                                                 
04/11/01                (H)        Moved HCSSB 103(FIN) Out of                                                                  
04/12/01     0993       (H)        RETURNED TO RLS COMMITTEE                                                                    
04/19/01                (H)        RLS AT 2:00 PM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JOE BALASH, Staff                                                                                                               
to the Senate State Affairs Committee                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 121                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the sponsor of SB
103, the Senate State Affairs Committee.                                                                                        
SENATOR DAVE DONLEY                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 506                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 103.                                                                                       
SUSIE BARNETT, Administrator                                                                                                    
to the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
PO Box 101468                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska 99510-1468                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  on the  ethics provisions  in SB
BROOKE MILES, Assistant Director                                                                                                
Alaska Public Offices Commission                                                                                                
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
2221 E Northern Lights, Room 128                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska 99508-4149                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a question.                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 01-7, SIDE A                                                                                                               
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  PETE  KOTT  called  the  House  Rules  Standing  Committee                                                               
meeting  to order  at 2:15  p.m.   Representatives Kott,  Porter,                                                               
Morgan,  McGuire,  and Berkowitz  were  present  at the  call  to                                                               
order.    Representative Joule  arrived  as  the meeting  was  in                                                               
progress.  Senator Donley was also in attendance.                                                                               
SB 103-ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                                                              
Number 0005                                                                                                                     
CHAIR KOTT announced  that the only order of  business before the                                                               
committee  would be  CS FOR  SENATE  BILL NO.  103(FIN), "An  Act                                                               
relating to election campaigns and legislative ethics."                                                                         
Number 0013                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt  HCS CSSB 103, version Q, as                                                               
the working document before the committee.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  explained that [version Q]  incorporates the                                                               
recent  court   ruling  into   the  [House]   Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee  version [version  I].   Version Q  also includes  [new                                                               
language] dealing with  communications on page 7, lines  1-5.  He                                                               
said those are the significant  changes.  Copies of U.S. District                                                               
Judge   James  Singleton's   ruling  were   distributed  to   the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew his objection.                                                                                
Therefore, version Q was before the committee.                                                                                  
Number 0064                                                                                                                     
JOE BALASH, Staff  to the Senate State  Affairs Committee, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, identified SB  103 as primarily a housekeeping                                                               
measure.     In   large   part,  SB   103   takes  into   account                                                               
administrative rulings  and formal  and informal  advice provided                                                               
by the  Select Committee on  Legislative Ethics and  places those                                                               
in the statutes.  Therefore, everyone  will be clear in regard to                                                               
how the  law works.   This legislation  primarily deals  with the                                                               
Alaska Public Offices Commission  (APOC) and the Ethics statutes.                                                               
He pointed  out that under  the election campaign  statutes, [the                                                               
legislation deals  with] the issue of  multiple groups controlled                                                               
by a single  candidate, contribution limits due  to the Singleton                                                               
decision,  and   an  allowance  for  a   candidate's  contributor                                                               
statement  to  be  filed  by  the  candidate  on  behalf  of  the                                                               
contributor.   The legislation also  makes some  modest increases                                                               
on the  amount of personal  property that can be  carried forward                                                               
by  the candidate.   Furthermore,  the legislation  clarifies the                                                               
definition of "contributions."   Mr. Balash pointed  out that the                                                               
ethics  portion  of  the  legislation can  be  divided  into  the                                                               
following two  portions of the  bill:   the use of  public assets                                                               
and resources for  nonlegislative purposes and the  use of public                                                               
assets for political purposes.   The legislation makes allowances                                                               
for a variety of things that,  in most cases, were allowed due to                                                               
decisions  made by  the Select  Committee on  Legislative Ethics.                                                               
He specified that this legislation  allows for the reasonable use                                                               
of  the Internet,  photographs,  transporting personal  computers                                                               
not owned  by the  state but used  primarily for  state business,                                                               
and  widens the  window  that legislators  can  use their  office                                                               
before  and after  session.   There is  also a  section regarding                                                               
gifts of transportation from one legislator to another.                                                                         
CHAIR KOTT  inquired as to  the rationale behind the  increase in                                                               
property allowance  from $2,500 to $5,000,  which doesn't include                                                               
computers and printers.                                                                                                         
MR. BALASH explained  that the $2,500 amount was set  a number of                                                               
years ago and people may not  have considered all the items, such                                                               
as stationary  and balloons  that APOC  considers to  be property                                                               
and what can and cannot be carried forward.                                                                                     
CHAIR KOTT  remarked that  Senate districts  would have  twice as                                                               
many items to pass out during campaigns.                                                                                        
Number 0130                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  said that his biggest  concern with the                                                               
Singleton ruling  and version Q  is the $5,000 allowance  for the                                                               
purpose  of   influencing  the  nomination   or  election   of  a                                                               
candidate.    Although  he  understood  the  court's  ruling,  he                                                               
expressed concern with how large  gifts could be cordoned off and                                                               
how  one could  account for  what works  towards influencing  the                                                               
nomination  or  election  of  a  candidate.    For  example,  the                                                               
Democratic  Party  has an  executive  director  who isn't  always                                                               
working  on  campaigns  and  thus  he  inquired  as  to  how  one                                                               
segregates  the value  of something  generic from  something that                                                               
benefits a campaign.                                                                                                            
MR. BALASH surmised that under  APOC's regulatory powers, certain                                                               
instances and  forms would be  established in order  to determine                                                               
what  contributions  are for  what.    Currently, the  Republican                                                               
Party's executive  director's salary  isn't divided up  among all                                                               
the  Republican candidates  statewide and  then assessed  against                                                               
the  party's contribution  limit  to candidates.   Therefore,  he                                                               
wasn't  sure  how  such  an   example  would  fit  in  regard  to                                                               
contribution   limits  and   what  is   earmarked  for   specific                                                               
candidates and campaigns.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  posed an example in  which someone does                                                               
a $100,000 advertising campaign  to benefit the Democratic Party.                                                               
Although  the advertising  campaign doesn't  specifically mention                                                               
any  candidates by  name,  it clearly  benefits  everyone who  is                                                               
labeled a Democrat and thus  would hurt those labeled Republican.                                                               
This [soft money] is a problem.                                                                                                 
MR. BALASH said  that he wasn't sure  if Representative Berkowitz                                                               
was speaking  of an advertising  campaign that is "at  the behest                                                               
of  or designed  by or  commissioned by  the Republican  Party or                                                               
Democratic Party"  or whether he  was speaking of  an independent                                                               
expenditure on the part of a corporation or union.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  clarified that  he was speaking  in the                                                               
context  of Section  2, which  refers  to the  contribution to  a                                                               
political party.   He said, "There's nothing  that would preclude                                                               
someone from dropping  $100,000 on a political party  and ... run                                                               
ads  saying how  good you  are  and how  bad the  other guys  are                                                               
generically."   Representative Berkowitz related his  belief that                                                               
the legislature has  the ability to prevent  such mischief within                                                               
the constructs  of the Singleton  decision.  He remarked  that it                                                               
seems peculiar  that the rest  of the  country is trying  to move                                                               
away from soft money, yet "we" have this issue.                                                                                 
MR.  BALASH pointed  out that  the rest  of the  country is  also                                                               
struggling  with  the  right   of  individual  organizations  and                                                               
individuals  to  speak at  their  own  behest.   He  related  his                                                               
understanding of a  Colorado case in which the  supreme court has                                                               
recently granted cert to address  whether that is permissible and                                                               
whether the state has a  legitimate and compelling state interest                                                               
to  regulate that  sort of  activity in  speech.   He offered  to                                                               
provide the citation to the committee.                                                                                          
Number 0202                                                                                                                     
SENATOR  DAVE  DONLEY,  Alaska   State  Legislature,  noted  that                                                               
although he supported the proposed  HCS, he does have one concern                                                               
regarding poet  account interest at the  end of a term  of a poet                                                               
account.  By returning to  the existing statutory language, there                                                               
is no fix  for this problem.  He explained  that the statute says                                                               
that only  $5,000 a year  can be  withdrawn from a  poet account.                                                               
Therefore, if  a legislator has an  interest-bearing poet account                                                               
that has  money in  it at  the end  of two  years or  four years,                                                               
there is  no statutory  authority to do  anything with  the money                                                               
that  remains in  the account.   He  informed the  committee that                                                               
APOC has supported allowing a  legislator to take out interest on                                                               
a  poet  account  also.    Although  this  is  minor,  it  is  an                                                               
accounting  nightmare.   Therefore,  he  asked  if the  committee                                                               
would consider inserting the following language:                                                                                
     Page 4, line 1, after "$5,000"                                                                                             
         Insert "not including any interest paid on the                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER remarked  that the  language should  read,                                                               
"is limited to $5,000 and accumulated interest".                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY indicated agreement with that language.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  mentioned  that those  who  have  been                                                               
legislators for  a while and who  put away $5,000 early  on could                                                               
could end up with some "real" money after a while.                                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY   explained  that  under  the   poet  account,  a                                                               
legislator is  only allowed $5,000  per year of  the legislator's                                                               
term of office.   Furthermore, the legislator is  only allowed to                                                               
withdraw $5,000 a year.   Therefore, the most interest that could                                                               
accumulate would be about $15,000  over a three year period, that                                                               
is if  the individual is a  Senator.  Even over  that period, the                                                               
legislator  would have  to withdraw  $5,000 a  year and  thus the                                                               
amount  [in interest]  would decrease.   Therefore,  it would  be                                                               
interest on  the average of that  amount of money over  the three                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ inquired as to  what would happen if the                                                               
legislator had no use for it and no money was withdrawn.                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY  pointed out  that if  the money  isn't withdrawn,                                                               
there is a provision for redistribution  of the money in the same                                                               
fashion as the excesses from campaign finance.                                                                                  
CHAIR KOTT related his belief that  the money has to be extracted                                                               
from  the reserve  account  on  an annual  basis.   However,  the                                                               
entire amount doesn't have to be  expended in any year.  He posed                                                               
an example  in which  a legislator withdrew  $5,000 in  the first                                                               
year, which  can be  done if  the legislator  has $10,000  in the                                                               
reserve account.  If the  legislator withdrew $10,000 and nothing                                                               
was used the first year,  then that legislator could transfer the                                                               
$5,000 from  the first  year into  the second  year and  thus the                                                               
legislator  would  have  $10,000.   The  legislator  could  spend                                                               
$2,000 of  that $10,000, which would  leave $8,000 at the  end of                                                               
the second year.   The legislator would know that  if he/she were                                                               
reelected, then the legislator would  be able to roll that $8,000                                                               
into  the  next   year's  poet  operational  account.     If  the                                                               
legislator  was not  elected, then  the  money would  have to  be                                                               
dispersed to the  various entities provided for.   He pointed out                                                               
that when  the legislator takes  funds from the  reserve account,                                                               
the operational account, there is a tax liability.                                                                              
Number 0261                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ referred to  $5,000 rather than $10,000,                                                               
which Chair Kott  used in his example.   Representative Berkowitz                                                               
remarked that if the $5,000  is not withdrawn, the interest would                                                               
amount to a considerable amount of money.                                                                                       
CHAIR KOTT interjected  that it must be taken out  of the reserve                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER  pointed out that interest  accumulates now                                                               
and thus the only thing this  would do is allow the legislator to                                                               
spend  it rather  than  leaving it  in the  account  until it  is                                                               
distributed to charities, the party, et cetera.                                                                                 
CHAIR KOTT related  his belief that it  seems appropriate because                                                               
when  that  $5,000  is  withdrawn  it  could  be  moved  into  an                                                               
interest-bearing checking  account.  Therefore,  a bit  more than                                                               
$5,000 would be available to spend.                                                                                             
SENATOR DONLEY highlighted the fact  that this is poet money, the                                                               
use of  which is  severely restricted.   This  money can  only be                                                               
used   for   governmental   functions,   office   functions,   or                                                               
legislative functions.                                                                                                          
Number 0285                                                                                                                     
SUSIE  BARNETT,   Administrator  to   the  Select   Committee  on                                                               
Legislative Ethics,  Alaska State Legislature, said  that she has                                                               
the  House  Finance Committee  version,  version  K, before  her.                                                               
Therefore, she didn't know whether  anything regarding the ethics                                                               
provisions were changed in version Q.                                                                                           
CHAIR  KOTT  answered  that  he  believes  that  the  two  ethics                                                               
provisions  are in  the  same  form as  they  were  in the  House                                                               
Finance Committee version.                                                                                                      
MS.  BARNETT   reiterated  her  comment  to   the  House  Finance                                                               
Committee as  follows:   "I think  that the  changes made  in the                                                               
House were positive  and I also compliment you folks  on not over                                                               
amending the Ethics Code."                                                                                                      
CHAIR KOTT recalled that most of  the language included in SB 103                                                               
that relates  to the Ethics  Code is from past  advisory opinions                                                               
from the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                                                
MS. BARNETT agreed  that is the case  with several ethics-related                                                               
portions of  the bill.   For example,  the language  dealing with                                                               
the  constitutional  amendment  came from  an  advisory  opinion.                                                               
However, several are  based on informal advice,  which the Select                                                               
Committee  on Legislative  Ethics has  been asked  to review  but                                                               
have not  been asked to  provide a  formal opinion.   Ms. Barnett                                                               
pointed out  that the new portion  to the Ethics Code  is located                                                               
in  the section  concerning  the gift  of  transportation from  a                                                               
legislator  to  another  legislator.   The  Select  Committee  on                                                               
Legislative Ethics hasn't dealt  with that formally.  Informally,                                                               
Ms. Barnett  noted that  she has advised  that such  gifts remain                                                               
under the  $250 cap or ensure  that the travel had  a legislative                                                               
purpose.  Under this [legislation],  it would exempt any of those                                                               
sorts of requirements and does not require disclosure.                                                                          
CHAIR KOTT, upon no one wanting  to testify on SB 103, closed the                                                               
public testimony  on SB  103.  He  reminded committee  members of                                                               
Senator Donley's earlier recommendation.                                                                                        
Number 0333                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER   moved  that  the  committee   adopt  the                                                               
following conceptual amendment, Amendment 1:                                                                                    
     Page 4, line 1, after "$5,000"                                                                                             
          Insert "plus any accumulated interest"                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
Number 0342                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  moved  that the  committee  adopt  the                                                               
following amendment, Amendment 1:                                                                                               
     Page 2, line 5, after "candidate"                                                                                          
          Insert "or candidates"                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                              
Number 0355                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  moved  that the  committee  adopt  the                                                               
following  amendment,   Amendment  3:     Page  6,   delete  sub-                                                               
subparagraph (iii), lines 3-6.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER objected.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   BERKOWITZ  inquired   as   to   how  "slate   of                                                           
candidates" would  be defined.   He asked  if that  would include                                                           
the entire statewide slate, areawide  slate, senatewide slate, et                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER pointed out that is  left to the party.  He                                                               
noted that in Anchorage the Republican Women's Club does this.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE    BERKOWITZ    mentioned    "comparison    piece"                                                               
advertisements, which can twist the  most innocuous position.  He                                                               
felt that [sub-subparagraph (iii)]  allows for a circumvention of                                                               
the limits  of gift to an  individual candidate.  He  related his                                                               
belief  that  [the legislature]  shouldn't  allow  for more  hard                                                               
money contributions.                                                                                                            
A roll call  vote was taken.  Representative  Berkowitz voted for                                                               
Amendment  3.   Representatives Porter,  McGuire, Morgan,  Joule,                                                               
and  Kott voted  against  Amendment 3.    Therefore, Amendment  3                                                               
failed to be adopted by a vote of 1-5.                                                                                          
Number 0396                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  moved  that the  committee  adopt  the                                                               
following amendment, Amendment 4:                                                                                               
     Page 7, lines 2 and 4,                                                                                                     
          Delete "and their families"                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ   explained  that  under   the  current                                                               
language, the  Alaska Conservation  of Voters could  mail letters                                                               
to all its  members and their relatives, which  he didn't believe                                                               
was the intention.                                                                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY  related his belief that  this particular language                                                               
comes from the federal statutes.   Under the federal election law                                                               
this  is protected  free  speech and  not  considered a  campaign                                                               
contribution.   This  falls under  the First  Amendment right  of                                                               
association and political free speech.   Senator Donley felt that                                                               
it would be  fine to limit it to the  employees or actual members                                                               
of an  organization.   However, the  intent with  [this language]                                                               
was that if an organization  mailed information to the [member's]                                                               
household, someone else in the household may open it up.                                                                        
CHAIR KOTT  asked if there was  objection to Amendment 4.   There                                                               
being no objection, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                    
Number 0426                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  referred to  page 9,  subparagraph (G),                                                               
which deals  with the "incidental  use of  governmental resources                                                           
by a  legislator or legislative  employee to support or  oppose a                                                           
proposed  amendment  to  the   state  or  federal  constitution".                                                           
Representative  Berkowitz expressed  his belief  that legislators                                                               
shouldn't be  involved with  a proposed  constitutional amendment                                                               
once that has passed the legislature.   He specified, "There is a                                                               
line of  demarcation after  a vote  has been  taken in  this body                                                               
where  ... the  resolution ceases  to be  within our  control and                                                               
then becomes  part of  ... public political  domain."   This line                                                               
shouldn't be blurred.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER  said  that  although  he  understood  the                                                               
reasoning, practicality  is probably the reason  this language is                                                               
included.  He  highlighted the difficulty in  an elected official                                                               
not  being able  to relate  their opinion  on these  matters when                                                               
asked.   Therefore,  practically speaking,  Representative Porter                                                               
didn't believe there was a way to avoid this.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked if  there was  anything currently                                                               
that  would  preclude  a legislator  from  answering  constituent                                                               
questions  regarding  his/her  opinion  of  a  state  or  federal                                                               
constitutional issue.                                                                                                           
MS.  BARNETT  answered no,  as  long  as the  legislator  doesn't                                                               
advocate  one way  or  the  other.   An  advocacy  role would  be                                                               
Number 0448                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE  asked whether  a legislator's  inability to                                                               
take  a position  would be  tantamount to  limiting his/her  free                                                               
speech.    He  asked  whether  it  would  be  a  violation  if  a                                                               
legislator stated  the position  he/she, as an  individual, would                                                               
take on  a certain issue.   Technically, would it be  a violation                                                               
if  a legislator  took out  an advertisement  that specified  how                                                               
that legislator would vote on a particular amendment.                                                                           
MS. BARNETT informed the committee  that in March 1998 the Select                                                               
Committee  on Legislative  Ethics addressed  this question.   The                                                               
Select Committee  on Legislative Ethics concluded  that under the                                                               
Ethics Code  a legislator or  legislative employee may  engage in                                                               
activity in support or opposition  to a proposed amendment to the                                                               
state constitution and may  use governmental resources, including                                                               
paid staff  time, to  support or  oppose the  proposed amendment.                                                               
However, it  was noted that state  facilities may not be  used by                                                               
legislators or  legislative employees for activities  relating to                                                               
contributions.   Furthermore, a legislative employee  may not, on                                                               
government  time, solicit,  accept, or  receive contributions  in                                                               
support of or opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment.                                                                
CHAIR  KOTT  related  his  understanding  then  that  the  Select                                                               
Committee  on  Legislative  Ethics   has  already  reviewed  this                                                               
section  being  discussed  and  have  rendered  an  opinion  that                                                               
substantiates or supports this section.                                                                                         
MS. BARNETT agreed.                                                                                                             
CHAIR KOTT  pointed out  that the language  in version  Q further                                                               
restricts this by referring to incidental use.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER agreed that this  language seems to be more                                                               
restrictive  than   the  opinion  of  the   Select  Committee  on                                                               
Legislative Ethics.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew Amendment 5.                                                                                  
CHAIR KOTT offered the  following conceptual amendment, Amendment                                                               
6, that  would be inserted around  page 3, line 15.   Amendment 6                                                               
attempts to  address a  problem that only  occurs once  every ten                                                               
years when  there is  reapportionment.   This would  address only                                                               
those  Senators who  have  the opportunity  "to  put the  maximum                                                               
amount carry over  from their campaign, excess  monies into their                                                               
reserve account,"  he said.   Since many of those  Senators would                                                               
likely  be truncated  after two  years  and since  they can  only                                                               
access a certain  amount after one year, there  is the likelihood                                                               
that  half of  what  they transferred  into  the reserve  account                                                               
could not be accessed.                                                                                                          
Number 0491                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER   moved  that  the  committee   adopt  the                                                               
aforementioned conceptual  amendment, Amendment  6.   There being                                                               
no objection, Amendment 6 was adopted.                                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY mentioned  that he wasn't aware of  what the House                                                               
Judiciary  Standing Committee  had done  with the  constitutional                                                               
amendment issue.  He inquired  as to the meaning of "incidental,"                                                               
which he believes to be problematic.   He explained that it would                                                               
be  difficult  to  say  that all  the  work  answering  inquiries                                                               
regarding   a  constitutional   amendment  that   the  legislator                                                               
sponsored was incidental.   Furthermore, Senator Donley suggested                                                               
that it was a lot of work and thus wasn't incidental.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE   BERKOWITZ  informed   the  committee   that  the                                                               
language was the  result of an amendment  by Representative Ogan.                                                               
The  discussion   in  the  House  Judiciary   Standing  Committee                                                               
revolved around the potential for  abuse of the privilege through                                                               
phone banking out  of the legislator's office  or performing many                                                               
mailings out  of the  legislator's office.   It  was felt  that a                                                               
restriction  to  incidental  clearly   applied  to  responses  to                                                               
inquiry as opposed to a  more proactive lobbying effort on behalf                                                               
of or opposed to a constitutional amendment.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER  asked  if the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee discussion  addressed the  possibility of  a legislator                                                               
being the sponsor of the constitutional amendment.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ recalled  that it  was to  some extent.                                                               
He  recalled that  the House  Judiciary  Standing Committee  felt                                                               
that   responding  to   inquires   was   distinct  to   proactive                                                               
involvement,  such  as  mailings  requesting a  certain  vote  or                                                               
establishing a phone bank that might target wavering voters.                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY stated his preference  for specifying that a phone                                                               
bank can't  be utilized rather  than using the vague  language of                                                               
incidental.   He remarked that it  would be difficult for  him to                                                               
characterize  the preparation  of  a voter's  guide statement  as                                                               
incidental.   However, he felt  that the voter's  guide statement                                                               
is an  important and appropriate constitutional  function for the                                                               
sponsor of these proposals.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  pointed out  that even  the preparation                                                               
of a voter's guide statement would  be an incidental use of state                                                               
resources  because  it incurs  a  relatively  small cost  to  the                                                               
SENATOR DONLEY related his understanding  of the Select Committee                                                               
on  Legislative Ethics'  view that  considers the  cost of  staff                                                               
time, which would not be incidental.                                                                                            
Number 0540                                                                                                                     
MS.  BARNETT clarified  that she  hasn't run  that change  by the                                                               
full Select  Committee on Legislative  Ethics, although  she felt                                                               
that  it probably  was a  good change  because it  was compromise                                                               
language  from  the  House Judiciary  Standing  Committee.    She                                                               
mentioned that  the word  incidental is  no more  challenging for                                                               
the  Select  Committee  on Legislative  Ethics  than  minimal  or                                                               
nominal or other words that are in the Ethics Code.                                                                             
MR.  BALASH   informed  the  committee  that   during  the  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing  Committee discussion there was  an additional                                                               
section  in  SB   103,  which  was  an   APOC  section  regarding                                                               
campaigns.  He pointed out that  there is a ban on monies, monies                                                               
being  used to  influence the  outcome of  a ballot  proposition,                                                               
held by  state entities, including  the legislature.   He pointed                                                               
out that  there was  a section [in  the House  Judiciary Standing                                                               
Committee version] that created an  exception.  He explained, "If                                                               
it's  permitted  under this  particular  citation  in the  Ethics                                                               
Code, then  it can be  used."  At  that point, there  was genuine                                                               
concern that  a loophole  was being created.   There  was concern                                                               
that monies  being held by  the Legislative Affairs  Agency (LAA)                                                               
in expense  accounts and phone  bills would  then be used  to pay                                                               
for an  active campaign,  which was not  the intent.   Therefore,                                                               
the  word incidental  was  inserted in  subparagraph  (G) in  the                                                               
Ethics Code.  He continued:                                                                                                     
     However, when  we go to [the  House] Finance Committee,                                                                    
     after   discussions  with   APOC,   the  decision   and                                                                    
     testimony from APOC  at the time was that  if we remove                                                                    
     this section in the APOC  Code ... and that we retained                                                                    
     the  exception  in  the Ethics  Code  that  responding,                                                                    
     advocating, and  opposing constitutional  amendments in                                                                    
     the course of  your duties -- it's  allowable under the                                                                    
     Ethics   Code   therefore   it's  allowable   and   not                                                                    
     considered  a contribution  on the  part of  a campaign                                                                    
     effort for or against an amendment.                                                                                        
Mr. Balash explained  that when the APOC language  was taken out,                                                               
the  compromise  word  "incidental"  was   not  taken  out.    He                                                               
clarified that  the compromise  that was  necessary in  the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing  Committee is  no longer necessary.   However,                                                               
with or  without "incidental", he  believes that if  a legislator                                                               
crossed a  threshold beyond  responding in  the normal  course of                                                               
their day-to-day  legislative duties,  that would cross  the line                                                               
in  terms of  what  is interpreted  as  a campaign  contribution.                                                               
This  is   the  same  line   that  could  be  crossed   during  a                                                               
[legislator's] candidacy.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  DONLEY  surmised that  what  everyone  is attempting  to                                                               
address is  reasonable use.   For example, he felt  that everyone                                                               
would agree that  setting up a phone bank  would be unreasonable.                                                               
He  said he  wasn't  sure that  "incidental"  is the  appropriate                                                               
BROOKE   MILES,  Assistant   Director,   Alaska  Public   Offices                                                               
Commission,  in response  to Chair  Kott,  said that  she had  no                                                               
comment  on this  particular section  since it  is in  the ethics                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER  indicated   his  agreement  with  Senator                                                               
Donley.     However,  he  indicated   that  what   is  considered                                                               
reasonable  under  one  fact  situation  may  not  be  considered                                                               
reasonable under another.                                                                                                       
TAPE 01-7, SIDE B                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   PORTER   said   that  he   believes   the   word                                                               
"reasonable" is  a better  individual approach  than "incidental"                                                               
because these  incidents are reviewed  on an individual  basis by                                                               
the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                                                     
Number 0586                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER moved  the following  amendment, Amendment                                                               
     Page 9, subparagraph (G),                                                                                                  
          Delete "incidental"                                                                                               
          Insert "reasonable"                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.   He related his understanding                                                               
that  "we're"  interpreting  "reasonable."    Therefore,  perhaps                                                               
there should be language that  specifies that the reference is to                                                               
reactive  versus   proactive  use  of  state   funds  for  active                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER  said that  he wouldn't  say that  in every                                                               
situation.     For   example,  if   a   legislator  sponsored   a                                                               
constitutional   amendment   on   changing   the   constitutional                                                               
provision for  the establishment  of the  redistricting committee                                                               
and an executive committee of  a Parent Teacher Association (PTA)                                                               
didn't  like the  amendment, would  the legislator  be considered                                                               
proactive  if  the legislator  called  the  members of  that  PTA                                                               
executive committee to offer explanation.   Although he indicated                                                               
agreement  that such  action could  be  considered proactive,  he                                                               
didn't think it should be precluded.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ related his  belief that it shouldn't be                                                               
precluded when  [the explanation]  is not  financed by  the state                                                               
because once the resolution leaves  the legislature, then it's no                                                               
longer the  legislature's.  If  a legislator or  the organization                                                               
pays   for  the   phone  calls   related   to  [sponsoring]   the                                                               
constitutional   amendment  or   if  the   legislator  or   staff                                                               
volunteers  time on  these  amendments, Representative  Berkowitz                                                               
felt that such  action would be acceptable and  normal.  However,                                                               
he  did believe  that the  legislature "should  let go"  once the                                                               
vote is taken.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER specified  that  [the legislature]  should                                                               
let go after the vote of  the people.  A constitutional amendment                                                               
process  doesn't end  until the  people  have voted  and thus  he                                                               
didn't see  the need to hinder  a person by not  allowing them to                                                               
use   their  own   office  to   support  their   own  legislation                                                               
[constitutional amendment].                                                                                                     
CHAIR KOTT  agreed with Representative  Porter.  If  a legislator                                                               
is a  sponsor of a  resolution that  was going before  the voters                                                               
and is approved, he asked  if that legislator would be restricted                                                               
from  using the  legislator's  staff to  include an  announcement                                                               
regarding  the passage  of  it  in the  legislator's  end of  the                                                               
session newsletter.   He mentioned that the  legislator could use                                                               
his office  allowance to pay  for the  newsletter.  He  said that                                                               
would be proactive.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  said  that  is why  he  believes  that                                                               
"incidental" or "minimal" is preferable to "reasonable."                                                                        
Number 0536                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  KOTT  mentioned  the  possibility  of  removing  the  word                                                               
"incidental" entirely, which  would fall within the  scope of the                                                               
opinion rendered by the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ mentioned  the possibility  of removing                                                               
the section [subparagraph (G)] entirely.                                                                                        
MR. BALASH  pointed out that in  the past when language  has been                                                               
put in  and subsequently removed,  it has impacted  Ms. Barnett's                                                               
way of  thinking and perhaps  the Select Committee on  Ethics way                                                               
of thinking.  Therefore, he assumed  that it would impact the way                                                               
in which  the Select Committee  on Legislative Ethics  views that                                                               
CHAIR KOTT  recalled the legislature's efforts  in previous years                                                               
to  include opinions  from the  Select  Committee on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics in  statute in  order to avoid  different opinions  from a                                                               
future Select Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  PORTER renewed  the  motion  to adopt  conceptual                                                               
Amendment 6, which reads as follows:                                                                                            
     Page 9, line 31,                                                                                                           
          Delete "incidental"                                                                                               
          Insert "reasonable"                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER  concluded by saying  that use of  the word                                                               
"reasonable" would  more accurately reflect the  advisory opinion                                                               
from the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.                                                                                              
Number 0500                                                                                                                     
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Porter, McGuire,                                                               
Morgan,  and Kott  voted for  Amendment 6.  Representatives Joule                                                               
and Berkowitz voted against Amendment  6.  Therefore, Amendment 6                                                               
was adopted with a vote of 4-2.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  DONLEY recommended  that the  committee request  Kathryn                                                               
Kurtz,  Attorney,  Legislative  Counsel,  Legislative  Legal  and                                                               
Research  Services,   Legislative  Affairs  Agency,   review  the                                                               
committee's amendments in  order to verify that  they comply with                                                               
the federal decision.                                                                                                           
CHAIR KOTT indicated agreement.                                                                                                 
Number 0497                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE  moved  to   report  HCS  CSSB  103(RLS),                                                               
version  Q,   as  amended  out   of  committee   with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying  fiscal note.   There being                                                               
no  objection, HCS  CSSB  103(RLS) was  reported  from the  House                                                               
Rules Standing Committee.                                                                                                       
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Rules Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.                                                                     

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