Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/30/1993 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE March 30, 1993 8:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Al Vezey, Chairman Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman Representative Harley Olberg Representative Jerry Sanders Representative Fran Ulmer Representative Bettye Davis MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Gary Davis OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Cliff Davidson Representative John Davies Representative Mike Navarre COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HCR 11 Designating the month of March as "Women's History Month." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT HB 175 "An Act making an appropriation for a grant for construction of the Women In Military Service Memorial; and providing for an effective date." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT SB 49 "An Act relating to preelection reports; closing the two day reporting gap in those reports; setting the date of February 15 for filing year- end campaign finance reports; and requiring reporting of zero year-end reports." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS HB 37 "An Act relating to open meetings of governmental bodies." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION HB 46 "An Act relating to frequent traveler credit for state-paid travel." HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION (* denotes first public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER Representative Bettye Davis State Capitol, Court Room 600 Juneau, Alaska 99801 465-3875 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HCR 11 Representative John Davies State Capitol, Court Room 604 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-4457 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HB 37 Representative Mike Navarre Room 521, State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-3779 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HB 208 Denny DeWitt, Director Division of Pioneers Benefits Department of Administration P.O. Box 110211 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0211 465-2159 Position Statement: Perceived a need for HB 208 Representative Cliff Davidson Room 400, State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-2487 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HB 175 Joelle Hall Army Veteran 445 Nelson Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 586-2548 Position Statement: Supported HB 175 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HCR 11 SHORT TITLE: WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS,Ulmer,Brown, Nicholia,Phillips,Grussendorf,Navarre TITLE: Designating the month of March as "Women's History Month." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/01/93 484 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/01/93 484 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 03/30/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 175 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: WOMEN IN MILITARY SERVICE MEMORIAL BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) DAVIDSON,Ulmer,Menard, Grussendorf TITLE: "An Act making an appropriation for a grant for construction of the Women In Military Service Memorial; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/24/93 434 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/24/93 434 (H) MLV, STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 03/17/93 (H) MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/17/93 (H) MINUTE(MLV) 03/19/93 705 (H) MLV RPT 4DP 03/19/93 705 (H) DP: WILLIS, MULDER, FOSTER, KOTT 03/30/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/30/93 850 (H) STA RPT 5DP 03/30/93 850 (H) DP: VEZEY,B.DAVIS,OLBERG,KOTT, SANDERS 03/30/93 850 (H) REFERRED TO FINANCE BILL: SB 49 SHORT TITLE: YEAR-END CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) KELLY,Donley,Kerttula,Pearce,Taylor TITLE: "An Act relating to preelection reports; closing the two-day reporting gap in those reports;filing year-end campaign finance reports; and requiring reporting of zero year-end reports." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/19/93 91 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/19/93 91 (S) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/29/93 (S) STA AT 09:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 01/29/93 (S) MINUTE(STA) 02/01/93 202 (S) STA RPT 2DP 1NR 02/01/93 202 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM) 02/17/93 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/17/93 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/19/93 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/19/93 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/22/93 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/22/93 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/24/93 460 (S) JUD RPT 4DP 1NR 02/24/93 460 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (ADM) 03/01/93 538 (S) FIN RPT 4DP 1NR 03/01/93 538 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (ADM) 03/01/93 (S) FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 518 03/04/93 (S) RLS AT 03:00 PM 03/04/93 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/12/93 768 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/12/93 03/12/93 775 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/12/93 775 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/12/93 775 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SB 49 03/12/93 775 (S) COSPONSOR(S): KERTTULA, PEARCE, TAYLOR 03/12/93 775 (S) PASSED Y19 N- E1 03/12/93 786 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/15/93 642 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/15/93 643 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 03/27/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/27/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/30/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 37 SHORT TITLE: OPEN MEETINGS LAW AMENDMENTS BILL VERSION: 2D SSHB 37 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) DAVIES,Therriault,Brice TITLE: "An Act relating to open meetings of governmental bodies." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/08/93 34 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/11/93 34 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/11/93 34 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 01/20/93 117 (H) COSPONSOR(S): BRICE 02/11/93 321 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED- REFERRALS 02/11/93 322 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 03/10/93 589 (H) 2D SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRO- REFERRALS 03/10/93 589 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 03/23/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/23/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/30/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/30/93 846 (H) STA RPT 4DP 2NR 03/30/93 846 (H) DP: ULMER, B.DAVIS, OLBERG, SANDERS 03/30/93 846 (H) NR: KOTT, VEZEY 03/30/93 846 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LAA) 3/30/93 03/30/93 846 (H) REFERRED TO JUDICIARY BILL: HB 46 SHORT TITLE: STATE-PAID TRAVEL MILEAGE CREDITS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN TITLE: "An Act relating to frequent traveler credit for state-paid travel." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/12/93 43 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/12/93 43 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, TRANSPORTATION, FINANCE 03/20/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/20/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/30/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-36, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY called the House State Affairs Committee to order at 8:03 a.m. on March 30, 1993. Members present were Representatives Kott, Olberg, G. Davis, B. Davis, Ulmer and Sanders, representing a quorum. Also present were Representatives Mike Navarre, Cliff Davidson and John Davies. HCR 11: WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH Number 021 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HCR 11 and asked its sponsor for her statement. Number 027 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS, PRIME SPONSOR OF HCR 11, explained the intent of the resolution was to recognize the important contributions Alaska women made in history. She stated Congress had passed a similar resolution each year from 1987 on, and it was time for the Alaska Legislature to do the same. Number 062 REPRESENTATIVE FRAN ULMER MOVED PASSAGE by unanimous consent of HCR 11; there were no objections, and IT SO MOVED. SB 49: YEAR-END CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS Number 083 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of SB 49 and stated a Committee Substitute (CS) had been prepared. He stated the only difference between SB 49 and CSSB 49 was in section two, where the threshold amount for a 24 hour notice had been raised from $250 to $500. He asked members to look at CSHB 49 before taking action. Number 141 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS MOVED and asked unanimous consent for the ADOPTION of CSHB 49. There were no objections; and IT SO MOVED. Number 147 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS MOVED for PASSAGE of CSSB 49, and asked for unanimous consent. There were no objections, and IT SO MOVED. HB 37: OPEN MEETINGS LAW AMENDMENTS HB 254: OPEN MEETING ACT Number 166 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of HB 37 and invited its sponsor, Representative John Davies to the table. He then noted the introduction of a similar bill, HB 254, which also deals with the Open Meetings Act, but contains several differences. He stated HB 254 was not referred to the House State Affairs Committee, as had been expected, but it might be worth the committee's time to look at both bills and possibly prepare a compromise version. Number 184 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 37, thought HB 254 would be considered side by side with HB 37, and stated it was awkward to not have them in the same committee. He stated it might be best to pass HB 37 on to the House Judiciary Committee where HB 254 was referred, to allow them to be compared easily. Number 196 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER MOVED PASSAGE of HB 37 and asked for unanimous consent. There was no objection, and IT SO MOVED. HB 46: STATE-PAID TRAVEL MILEAGE CREDITS Number 202 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HB 46, and informed the committee a CS had been drawn up but not yet delivered from Legal Services. He stated CSHB 46 would simply DELETE line 14 on the second page. Number 220 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER felt it was best to hold off a hearing on HB 46 until the CS was delivered. HB 208: ELIGIBILITY FOR LONGEVITY BONUS Number 226 CHAIRMAN VEZEY concurred and read the title to HB 208, then invited its sponsor to deliver his statement. Number 237 REPRESENTATIVE MIKE NAVARRE, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 208, advised the bill was designed to clarify the intent to prevent non-state funds from keeping seniors from getting a longevity bonus check. He stated there was concern non- state funds, such as Medicare and the veterans' insurance program, are causing seniors to lose their rightful longevity bonus checks when they needed them most, possibly during temporary illnesses. Number 262 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if under the provisions of HB 208, every person in a nursing home would be allowed to keep their longevity bonus check. Number 266 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE replied in the negative. He stated a person would only get to keep the check if their care was being paid for by all federal funds, without state monies. He stated many of those eligible for the longevity bonus are penalized because of the flaw in the current law. Number 273 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked why it was wrong to reduce the benefit from one social service program when the same people might be getting a larger payment from another social program. Number 290 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated if someone was temporarily disabled, and placed in a nursing home for a short period, their care is paid for by Medicare, which does not cover all costs. He stated the longevity bonus money could be used to cover the remainder. He also said several people trying to maintain their independence from social programs would be penalized, and possibly forced into joining such programs. He stated the hardships put upon people trying to maintain their homes while recovering from a temporary illness would be unreasonable. Number 342 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated it would be no different from receiving the care from the state, and it would not cover mortgage or utility payments. He stated there was an iniquity in allowing people to benefit from a federal program and still receive a bonus check, but not those who are helped under a state program. Number 354 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE gave an example: If one member of a married couple broke a hip and was placed in a nursing home for a temporary period, the $250 dollar check would aid the other member of the couple in maintaining and keeping their home while the first person recovered. Number 361 CHAIRMAN VEZEY replied even under that scenario, the state would be giving those people special treatment. Number 366 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE replied the state would not be harmed by allowing the checks to be delivered during a temporary stay in the hospital or nursing home, and may actually help keep seniors off public assistance. Number 354 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS stated a $250 dollar check would make a big difference to many people living on fixed incomes who may be trying to keep a home. Number 382 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated the money could be used much more equitably if the amount was applied to those people who may not be getting any benefits at all. Number 403 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated if the bonus was taken away from the people who might be in the position of losing a home during a temporary illness, it might backfire on the state. He stated there was a possibility seniors might end up on some type of public assistance which could cost far more than the bonus itself. Number 442 CHAIRMAN VEZEY thanked Representative Navarre for his testimony and called for other witnesses. Number 447 DENNY DEWITT, DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF PIONEER BENEFITS, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, stated there was a need for HB 208. He believed most recipients who might benefit from HB 208 are those affected by a short-term disability as described previously. He stated the difference between Medicaid and Medicare is that Medicare is designed for temporary use, and contains no state money in the payments. Medicaid is a combination 50-50 split between the state and federal government. He said Medicare patients are the ones who lose the bonus when they should not under the intent of the original law. Number 500 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if there was a danger seniors might get on a federal program, stay long term, and then transition to the combination federal/state program, which could cost the state money. Number 518 MR. DEWITT stated a number of seniors are economically vulnerable during illnesses, and taking the bonus away from them increased the chances they would lose the ability to pay for a home, and consequently go on public assistance. Number 528 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if it was a disservice to allow the longevity bonus to people who might otherwise get twice as much on adult public assistance. Number 540 MR. DEWITT said in spite of the difference between the amounts paid, most seniors did not want to go on public assistance, and the key for most people was trying to remain financially independent. Number 565 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS MOVED PASSAGE of HB 208 and asked for unanimous consent; there were no objections, and IT SO MOVED. HB 175: APPROP: WOMEN IN MILITARY MEMORIAL Number 570 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HB 175 and invited its sponsor to the table for his statement. Number 575 REPRESENTATIVE CLIFF DAVIDSON, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 175, explained he had five reasons for introducing HB 175, an appropriation of $15,000 for the national women in the military memorial. He felt Alaska was in a unique position to contribute; that the women in the military deserve recognition; that Alaska has the highest per capita women veterans in any state; that the state's proud military tradition demands such recognition; and, that as the national budget for the military shrinks, it is important to show support for that tradition. Number 602 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked why $15,000 was chosen as the appropriation amount. Number 605 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIDSON chose $15,000 after looking at other states' contributions. Number 608 CHAIRMAN VEZEY perceived Alaska's portion of the total cost of the monument might run $280,000, and asked if the state might be asked to come up with the remainder after this appropriation. Number 610 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIDSON stated private funding would pay the majority of the cost for the memorial. Number 620 VICE CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT noted there would be a large public sector contribution, and it appeared to him Alaska would be contributing about three dollars per in-state veteran to the memorial, as opposed to less than a quarter from Florida. He felt that was the right amount. Number 631 JOELLE HALL, AN ARMY VETERAN, felt strongly that Alaska should contribute to the memorial. She said after the recent Gulf War, it was appropriate to recognize women's contributions to the military. Number 644 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS MOVED PASSAGE of HB 175 and asked for unanimous consent; there were no objections, and IT SO MOVED. ADJOURNMENT Number 649 CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted there were no other items on the agenda and adjourned the meeting at 8:45 a.m.