Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/13/1993 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                        February 13, 1993                                      
                            8:00 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative Al Vezey, Chairman                                            
  Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman                                      
  Representative Harley Olberg                                                 
  Representative Gary Davis                                                    
  Representative Jerry Sanders (via teleconference)                            
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Bettye Davis                                                  
  Representative Fran Ulmer                                                    
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  HB 81:    "An Act relating to the longevity bonus program."                  
                                                                               
            HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION                        
                                                                               
  HB 36:    "An Act relating to retirement incentive programs                  
            for the public employees' retirement system, the                   
            teachers' retirement system, and certain persons                   
            under the judicial retirement system; and                          
            providing for an effective date."                                  
                                                                               
            HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION                        
                                                                               
  HB 44:    "An Act making a special appropriation to the                      
            principal of the permanent fund; and providing for                 
            an effective date."                                                
                                                                               
            NOT HEARD                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 49:    "An Act relating to facsimile absentee ballot                      
            application and facsimile absentee voting."                        
                                                                               
            NOT HEARD                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 47:    "An Act relating to the delivery of the primary                    
            ballots to persons making application for them                     
            when, by operation of political party rule, two or                 
            more primary ballots must be provided to the                       
            public."                                                           
                                                                               
            NOT HEARD                                                          
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
  Nancy Usera, Commissioner                                                    
  Department of Administration                                                 
  P.O. Box 110200                                                              
  Juneau, AK 99811-0200                                                        
  465-2200                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported HB 81                                          
                                                                               
  Paul Miller                                                                  
  P.O. Box 384                                                                 
  Delta Junction, AK  99737                                                    
  895-4493                                                                     
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 81                                            
                                                                               
  Gene Smart                                                                   
  P.O. Box 6923                                                                
  Nikiski, AK  99635                                                           
  776-5678                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported HB 36                                          
                                                                               
  Alice Oates                                                                  
  P.O. Box 488                                                                 
  Tok, AK  99780                                                               
  883-4929                                                                     
  Position Statement: Recommended HB 81 be amended                             
                                                                               
  Mellie Terwilleger                                                           
  P.O. Box 206                                                                 
  Tok, AK  99780                                                               
  883-2531                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported a 100 day session limit                        
                                                                               
  Marilyn Sterling                                                             
  4400 Shoshoni Avenue                                                         
  Anchorage, AK  99516                                                         
  345-1214                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported continuation of the longevity                  
                      bonus                                                    
                                                                               
  John J. Shaffer                                                              
  American Association of Retired People                                       
  303 Kimsham St.                                                              
  Sitka, AK 99835                                                              
  747-8425                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported reform of the longevity                        
                      program                                                  
                                                                               
  Rose Palmquist                                                               
  P.O. Box 870294                                                              
  Wasilla, AK 99687                                                            
  376-2274                                                                     
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 81                                            
                                                                               
  Hugh Johnson                                                                 
  HC 31 Box 5116                                                               
  Wasilla, AK  99654                                                           
  376-2603                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported longevity program                              
                                                                               
  Jim Sterling                                                                 
  4400 Shoshoni Avenue                                                         
  Anchorage, AK  99516                                                         
  345-1214                                                                     
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 36                                            
                                                                               
  Rose Feltz                                                                   
  1460 Grubstake                                                               
  Wasilla, AK  99654                                                           
  376-5967                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported SB 6                                           
                                                                               
  Gloria Maschmeyer                                                            
  2234 Knoll Circle                                                            
  Anchorage, AK 99501                                                          
  277-0787                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported HB 81                                          
                                                                               
  Elmer Lindstrom, Special Assistant                                           
  Department of Health and Social Services                                     
  P.O. Box 110601                                                              
  Juneau, AK 99811-0601                                                        
  465-3030                                                                     
  Position Statement: Supported HB 81                                          
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 81                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE:  PHASE OUT LONGEVITY BONUS                                      
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                 
  TITLE: "An Act relating to the longevity bonus program."                     
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/22/93       130    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/22/93       130    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                        
                              FINANCE                                          
  01/22/93       130    (H)   -2 FNS (ADM)   1/22/93                           
  01/22/93       130    (H)   GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                    
  02/02/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/02/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/06/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/13/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 36                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE: RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM                                    
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MACKIE,Hudson,Ulmer,B.Davis,                   
  Brice                                                                        
  TITLE: "An Act relating to retirement incentive programs for                 
  the public employees' retirement system, the teachers'                       
  retirement system, and certain persons under the judicial                    
  retirement system; and providing for an effective date."                     
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/08/93        33    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                 
  01/11/93        33    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/93        33    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, LABOR &                           
                              COMMERCE, FINANCE                                
  01/28/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/28/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  01/28/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  01/29/93       182    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): HUDSON- FIRST                      
                              COSPONSOR                                        
  01/29/93       182    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): B.DAVIS, BRICE                     
  01/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  01/30/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/02/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/04/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/06/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/09/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/09/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/11/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/13/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 44                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE: APPROP: TO PERMANENT FUND PRINCIPAL                             
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Olberg                                  
  TITLE: "An Act making a special appropriation to the                         
  principal of the permanent fund; and providing for an                        
  effective date."                                                             
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/11/93        35    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/93        35    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                           
  01/18/93       102    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  OLBERG                            
  01/26/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/28/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/28/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  01/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/06/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/13/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 49                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE: ABSENTEE BALLOTING BY FAX                                       
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Brice                                   
  TITLE: "An Act relating to facsimile absentee ballot                         
  application and facsimile absentee voting."                                  
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/13/93        52    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/13/93        53    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                        
                              FINANCE                                          
  01/20/93       117    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BRICE                              
  01/28/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/28/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  01/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/09/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/11/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/13/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 47                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE: ABSENTEE BALLOTS - PRIMARY ELECTIONS                            
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN                                         
  TITLE: "An Act relating to the delivery of the primary                       
  ballots to persons making application for them when, by                      
  operation of political party rule, two or more primary                       
  ballots must be provided to the public."                                     
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/12/93        43    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/12/93        43    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                        
                              FINANCE                                          
  01/28/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/04/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/06/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/09/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/13/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-18, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  The eleventh meeting of the House State Affairs Committee                    
  was called to order at 8:03 a.m. on Saturday, February 13,                   
  1993, by Chairman Vezey.  He noted a quorum was present.                     
  HB 81:  PHASE OUT LONGEVITY BONUS                                            
                                                                               
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY stated the committee was on teleconference                 
  with Fairbanks, Delta Junction, Anchorage, Glennallen,                       
  Kotzebue, Mat-Su, Kenai/Soldotna, Ketchikan, Sitka, Tok, and                 
  Valdez.  He then read the title of HB 81 and invited                         
  Commissioner Nancy Usera to testify.                                         
                                                                               
  NANCY USERA, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION,                     
  explained and discussed the "Longevity Bonus Program                         
  Alternative Funding Proposals" chart.  "It costs one hundred                 
  million for each year we delay," she said.                                   
  Number 111                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT asked why the administration                        
  introduced HB 81 instead of supporting SB 6.                                 
                                                                               
  Number 120                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA explained the SB 6 annuity phase out.                     
  The participation was unrealistic, she believed.                             
                                                                               
  Number 226                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG thought the annuity was the                     
  same as a savings account.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 231                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA agreed and further explained annuity                      
  accounts and actuaries.                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 255                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated an annuity savings program                      
  could be bought by anyone through an insurance company.                      
                                                                               
  Number 261                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA agreed.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 263                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY discussed taxes with regard to the longevity                  
  bonus.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 267                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA discussed tax implications and liability.                 
                                                                               
  Number 277                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY thanked Commissioner Usera and began taking                   
  public testimony.                                                            
  Number 287                                                                   
                                                                               
  PAUL MILLER testified via teleconference from Delta Junction                 
  in opposition to HB 81.                                                      
  HB 36:  RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM                                         
                                                                               
  Number 343                                                                   
                                                                               
  GENE SMART testified via teleconference from Soldotna in                     
  support of HB 36.                                                            
  Number 401                                                                   
                                                                               
  ALICE OATES testified via teleconference from Tok.  She                      
  recommended HB 81 be amended.  She asked the legislature to                  
  look into medicaid.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 427                                                                   
                                                                               
  MELLIE TERWILLEGER testified via teleconference from Tok.                    
  She discussed HB 81 and also mentioned her support of a 100                  
  day session limit.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 454                                                                   
                                                                               
  MARILYN STERLING testified via teleconference from                           
  Anchorage.  She and her husband made their retirement plans                  
  counting on the longevity bonus for income.  They desired to                 
  stay in Alaska and asked for the longevity bonus to                          
  continue.                                                                    
  Number 471                                                                   
                                                                               
  JOHN J. SHAFFER testified via teleconference from Sitka, on                  
  behalf of the American Association of Retired People.  He                    
  agreed the longevity bonus needed to be reformed.  He                        
  favored the annuity program in SB 6, and explained the value                 
  of the longevity bonus for seniors.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 510                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. STERLING suggested the committee review a report                         
  regarding older Alaskan senior citizens' impact on the                       
  economy of Alaska.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 539                                                                   
                                                                               
  ROSE PALMQUIST testified via teleconference from Mat-Su in                   
  opposition to HB 81.  She supported SB 6.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 604                                                                   
                                                                               
  HUGH JOHNSON testified via teleconference from Mat-Su.  He                   
  discussed the contribution of older Alaskans.  He favored                    
  the longevity bonus.                                                         
                                                                               
  Number 640                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. PALMQUIST reiterated her support for SB 6.                               
  TAPE 93-18 SIDE B                                                            
  Number 010                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. SMART discussed the money saved with the retirement                      
  incentive program and reiterated his support for HB 36.                      
                                                                               
  Number 065                                                                   
                                                                               
  JIM STERLING testified via teleconference from Anchorage in                  
  opposition to HB 36.  He alleged people who were retired                     
  from the state returned and worked on contract for more                      
  money than they were originally paid before retiring.  It is                 
  costing the state more money not less, he said, and                          
  discussed the health benefits.  He also said those vested                    
  moved out of state.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 108                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA reassured all seniors currently receiving                 
  the longevity bonus would continue to receive the bonus for                  
  the rest of their lives.  She discussed the history of the                   
  governor's annuity program.  The program went on the ballot                  
  in 1986 and did not receive support.  The program was on the                 
  legislature's desk for seven years and was not enacted.  It                  
  was not a financially viable program and was very complex.                   
  The liability of the longevity program had continue to grow,                 
  she added.                                                                   
  Number 159                                                                   
                                                                               
  ROSE FELTZ, a member of the MAT-SU SENIOR CITIZENS' ADVISORY                 
  BOARD, testified via teleconference from Mat-Su in support                   
  of SB 6.  "I was born in Alaska and I am 57 years old now.                   
  When I turn 65 there will be a law suit if I am treated                      
  differently than other senior citizens who receive the                       
  bonus," she said.                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 191                                                                   
                                                                               
  GLORIA MASCHMEYER testified via teleconference from                          
  Anchorage.  She requested clarification of the SB 6 annuity                  
  program versus the phase out plan.  She did not understand                   
  why anyone would want to put their Permanent Fund monies                     
  into a state annuity program.                                                
  Number 254                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA supported HB 81 and said Senator                          
  Kerttula, the prime sponsor of SB 6, could clarify any                       
  questions on that bill.  She believed SB 6 phased out the                    
  longevity program over a 15 year period with a formula based                 
  step down.  In order to keep the check at $250, while the                    
  step down amount increased, the Permanent Fund investment                    
  would be at 100 percent involvement among seniors, she                       
  added.                                                                       
  Number 314                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS stated SB 6 annuity was a                          
  volunteer program.                                                           
  Number 324                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. MASCHMEYER spoke in support of HB 81.                                    
  Number 348                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA said the SB 6 annuity program was                         
  extremely complex and impractical.                                           
                                                                               
  Number 359                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. MASCHMEYER was interested in the longevity bonus and                     
  would retire in Alaska.  "I would not personally deposit my                  
  Permanent Fund in a state annuity account because it is not                  
  refundable and would not be inherited by my family upon my                   
  death," she said.                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 378                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY said the option to put permanent funds into a                 
  savings plan of choice may be best.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 383                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG agreed that when seniors turned 65 and                 
  were not eligible for a longevity check there would be                       
  lawsuits.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 393                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA explained legal concerns by clarifying                    
  there would not be an eligibility problem because HB 81                      
  would pass a constitutional test.                                            
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG pointed out ten years from now, when                   
  his mother reached the age of 75, he could move her here and                 
  she would receive a check.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 416                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA confirmed the immigration of seniors into                 
  Alaska had increased and they would receive checks.  This                    
  was a dilemma of the program, she added.                                     
  Number 478                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. STERLING noted there were four bills on this topic:                      
  HB 81, SB 6, SB 58, and HB 77, each of which had its own                     
  weakness.  She asked if the program could be based on need.                  
                                                                               
  Number 491                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG discussed needs' based programs.  Many                 
  people with needs would not utilize available programs                       
  because of pride, he said.                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. STERLING pointed out social security and medicaid did                    
  not have a stigma attached to them.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 511                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA discussed needs' based programs in the                    
  Department of Administration such as the Older Alaskans                      
  Commission and the Pioneer Home.  She claimed there was a                    
  network of support for senior citizens and that assistance                   
  for senior citizens had expended.                                            
  Number 539                                                                   
                                                                               
  ELMER LINDSTROM, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND                 
  SOCIAL SERVICES, testified in support of HB 81.  He                          
  discussed old age assistance being counted as income and                     
  spoke of the fiscal note savings.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 581                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. JOHNSON, a retired economist, stated his concern with                    
  social security, which he felt was not the cushion that                      
  people expected.  He believed the longevity bonus would not                  
  be any different.  "Do not tie the program to terms of                       
  need," he added.                                                             
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 627                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY adjourned the meeting at 9:36 a.m.                            

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