Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/22/1994 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                        February 22, 1994                                      
                            8:00 a.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Representative Al Vezey, Chairman                                            
  Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman                                      
  Representative Gary Davis                                                    
  Representative Harley Olberg                                                 
  Representative Jerry Sanders                                                 
  Representative Fran Ulmer                                                    
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Representative Bettye Davis                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  *HB 346:     "An Act amending the Alaska Election Code                       
                and the Alaska Uniform Vehicle Code to                         
                conform them to the requirements of the                        
               `National Voter Registration Act of 1993,'                      
                federal legislation requiring the states                       
                to alter their voter registration and                          
                election practices as they may relate to                       
                elections to federal office and making related                 
                amendments; relating to public and                             
                confidential records of agencies operating                     
                under the Alaska Election Code; and directing                  
                appropriate state officials to initiate                        
                administrative preclearance review or to seek                  
                judicial approval of the amendments made by                    
                this Act as required by relevant provisions of                 
                the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and providing                   
                for an effective date."                                        
                HELD OVER                                                      
  *HCR 27:      Relating to support for the National Rifle                     
                Association's gun safety program for children.                 
                HELD OVER                                                      
  *HB 392:     "An Act relating to the confidentiality of                      
                permanent fund dividend application                            
                information; relating to the permanent fund                    
                dividend program; and providing for an                         
                effective date."                                               
                HELD OVER                                                      
  *HB 483:     "An Act relating to payment of permanent fund                   
                dividends of certain individuals who have                      
                been absent from the state; and providing for                  
                an effective date."                                            
                NOT HEARD                                                      
  (* first public hearing)                                                     
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  LAURA GLAISER, Staff                                                         
  Division of Elections                                                        
  Lt. Governor's Office                                                        
  PO Box 110018                                                                
  Juneau, AK  99811-0018                                                       
  Phone:  465-3520                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SSHB 346                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE                                                     
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  Alaska State Capitol, Room 112                                               
  Juneau, AK  99811                                                            
  Phone:  465-4843                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HCR 27                                       
  OLIVER BURRIS                                                                
  Tanana Valley Sportsmens Association                                         
  2801 Talkeetna                                                               
  Fairbanks, AK  99709                                                         
  Phone:  474-0437                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HCR 27                            
  DICK BISHOP                                                                  
  Alaska Outdoor Council, Statewide Organization of Outdoor                    
  User Groups, Advocates of the Proper and Lawful Use of                       
  1555 Gus's Grind                                                             
  Fairbanks, AK  99709                                                         
  Phone:  455-6151                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HCR 27                            
  VERN KEEZER                                                                  
  P.O. Box 242                                                                 
  Bethel, AK  99559                                                            
  Phone:  543-2285                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HCR 27                            
  RICHARD VITALE, Aide                                                         
  Representative Con Bunde                                                     
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  Alaska State Capitol, Room 112                                               
  Juneau, AK  99811                                                            
  Phone:  465-4843                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 392                            
  TOM WILLIAMS, Director                                                       
  Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                             
  Department of Revenue                                                        
  P.O. Box 110460                                                              
  Juneau, AK  99811-0460                                                       
  Phone:  465-2323                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 392                            
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HB 346                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ULMER,B.Davis                                  
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/07/94      2018    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                 
  01/10/94      2018    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/10/94      2018    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY,FINANCE                  
  01/13/94      2055    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  B. DAVIS                          
  02/02/94      2217    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE                               
  02/02/94      2218    (H)   STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                          
  02/22/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  BILL:  HCR 27                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: SUPPORT NRA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM                                  
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE                                          
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/18/94      2096    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/18/94      2096    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS                                    
  02/22/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  BILL:  HB 392                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND PROGRAM                                 
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PARNELL                                        
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/21/94      2125    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/21/94      2125    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY,FINANCE                  
  02/22/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  BILL:  HB 483                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT                                           
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  02/14/94      2378    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/14/94      2378    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                           
  02/22/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 94-15, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR AL VEZEY called the meeting to order at 8:02 a.m..                     
  Members present include REPRESENTATIVES PETE KOTT, HARLEY                    
  OLBERG, and FRAN ULMER.  Chair Vezey informed the committee                  
  he had received a proposed bill regarding a petition to the                  
  Congress to amend the Constitution.  Chair Vezey opened SSHB
  346 for discussion.                                                          
  REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS entered the meeting at 8:03 a.m.                   
  A quorum was present.                                                        
  Number 033                                                                   
  HB 346 - VOTER REGISTRATION:CONFORM TO FEDERAL LAW                           
  346 is Alaska's attempt to conform with the federal motor                    
  voter law.  Last year, Congress adopted the motor voter law                  
  to make it easier for individuals to get registered to vote.                 
  Congress gave states until January 1, 1995, to comply with                   
  the law; Alaska has not at this time.  Legal Services                        
  compared Alaska statutes with the federal requirements and                   
  drafted SSHB 346 for Representative Ulmer, to bring Alaska                   
  into compliance.  SSHB 346 requires voter registration to be                 
  easier for the public and requires that when an individual                   
  gets a motor vehicle registration, it is simultaneously an                   
  application to vote.  SSHB 346 also requires when an                         
  individual changes his/her drivers license address, it                       
  automatically changes the voter registration address.  When                  
  registering to vote by mail, SSHB 346 provides the                           
  application does not have to be notarized.  SSHB 346 also                    
  requires that an individual who does not vote will not be                    
  removed from the voter registration list any longer.                         
  REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS joined the meeting at 8:05 a.m.                 
  Number 075                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG asked what SSHB 346 was trying                  
  to accomplish, and why is it necessary to make it easier to                  
  Number 080                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER responded in a democracy, one of the                    
  public policy goals which supports democracy is the                          
  participation of the public in their government.  The public                 
  should be encouraged to vote by reducing the impediments,                    
  such as not being currently registered to vote because an                    
  individual moved and forgot to notify the officials of the                   
  change, related to voting requirements.  Some individuals                    
  may not have a high amount of interest in voting and, if                     
  voter registration was included in the motor vehicle                         
  registration process, it may promote participation and                       
  interest.  Representative Ulmer stated, as a member of the                   
  League of Women Voters, one of their goals is to make it                     
  easier to register to vote and to encourage people to                        
  CHAIR VEZEY asked if the committee had a copy of the federal                 
  motor voter bill.                                                            
  Number 112                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER responded yes, Jack Chenoweth from the                  
  Legal Services Division brought a copy.                                      
  Number 113                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY asked how could registering to vote be made                      
  easier in Alaska.                                                            
  Number 121                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER answered voter registration would be                    
  easier if applications for registration were in more places.                 
  For example, in addition to motor vehicle licensing, public                  
  assistance offices which serve the disabled, who may not                     
  drive, and the armed services may also distribute                            
  applications.  With an increase in access, Representative                    
  Ulmer estimated there would be 10-15 percent more people                     
  registered to vote.                                                          
  Number 144                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY asked if the state of Alaska already mails a                     
  voter registration application to every resident of the                      
  state every year.                                                            
  Number 147                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER replied the committee would have to ask                 
  the Division of Elections for an answer to that question.                    
  CHAIR VEZEY believed it would be good to know if the state                   
  already mailed the applications every year, before the law                   
  is changed.                                                                  
  Number 150                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated the purpose of SSHB 346 is to                    
  comply with federal law.  Federal law requires every state                   
  by January 1, 1995, to comply with the motor voter                           
  registration requirements.  Alaska's statutes do not comply.                 
  She believed the requirements were reasonable and, in terms                  
  of extending access, they would be a "good public policy                     
  step" for Alaska to make.                                                    
  Number 160                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY felt SSHB 346 was reasonable, in light of the                    
  fiscal note.                                                                 
  Number 165                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG asked what the consequences of not                     
  complying with the federal requirements would be.                            
  Number 166                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER recollected the federal motor voter                     
  sets a compliance date, January 1, 1995, "without a big                      
  hammer over our heads."  She believed the compliance date                    
  was set in the hope the states would "see the wisdom in                      
  making it easier for people to vote."                                        
  Number 175                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT questioned whether or not the                       
  committee wanted the drafting attorney to give a sectional                   
  analysis of SSHB 346.  He would like to have one.                            
  Number 178                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER replied there is a sectional analysis                   
  and the drafting attorney could go over it with the                          
  Number 180                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY believed the committee had been asking questions                 
  about the philosophy of SSHB 346.  He believed the fiscal                    
  note from Health and Social Services did not reflect much                    
  more than the cost of printed materials.  The department                     
  estimates 10 minutes per client for each processing agent.                   
  Number 194                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated she would appreciate it if Jack                  
  Chenoweth, could speak about the issue of access and if SSHB
  346 would expand the number of people who could get                          
  registered in Alaska.                                                        
  Number 200                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY said he would like the committee to bring out                    
  their questions first and then perhaps the witnesses could                   
  answer them.                                                                 
  Number 204                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG asked how the $10 fee to register a                    
  vehicle in person applies to registering to vote at the same                 
  CHAIR VEZEY replied the fee could be interpreted as a head                   
  tax or poll tax.  He was not sure.                                           
  Number 211                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT responded to Representative Olberg, " I                  
  hope we've taken care of that problem," referring to the $10                 
  CHAIR VEZEY examined another fiscal note from Health and                     
  Social Services (H&SS) for $155,000 which is based on the                    
  personal services of .32 of a full-time equivalent at Clerk                  
  Typist III (FTE), from 7.35 equivalent of FTE's.  (Reference                 
  page 2, paragraph 2, of H&SS Institutions and Administration                 
  fiscal note, on file.)  He examined the fiscal note from                     
  H&SS Women, Infants & Children Division, which ranges about                  
  $10,000 for 1995, then $21,000 in 1996.  He stated the                       
  committee does not have a fiscal note from the Division of                   
  Motor Vehicles (DMV), but does have a zero fiscal note from                  
  the Department of Corrections.  The Office of the Governor,                  
  Division of Elections, has a $90,000 fiscal note.  Chair                     
  Vezey felt it would "be impossible to have any state laws                    
  where it's easier to register than the state of Alaska."                     
  Two citizens of the state can register another voter in                      
  Alaska.  A noncommissioned officer of the armed forces can                   
  register a voter in Alaska.  He believes Alaskan residents                   
  are not purged from registration polls unless they have not                  
  voted for three years of elections cycles.                                   
  Number 258                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER responded under the federal motor voter                 
  bill, it is required that the state not purge individuals                    
  for not voting.  Representative Ulmer agreed there are a                     
  number of ways to vote, but particularly in rural Alaska,                    
  there is a fairly large percentage who are not registered to                 
  Number 262                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY stated these individuals do apply for permanent                  
  fund dividends (PFD), and when they receive the PFD                          
  application, a voter registration application is included.                   
  Number 264                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER responded if voter registration was in                  
  more places, where individuals come in to get services, it                   
  will make it easier for people to register simultaneously                    
  with other processes.  She believed this would help achieve                  
  her public policy goal.                                                      
  Number 274                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked if any figures had been                         
  calculated to estimate how many people SSHB 346 might entice                 
  to register, and if it focused towards the cost of                           
  registering an individual.                                                   
  Number 279                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER was not sure, but she guessed the                       
  Division of Elections had not broken down the cost on a per                  
  person voter basis versus the current cost.  She offered to                  
  let the Division of Elections explain in more detail.                        
  Number 287                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated he would also like to have the                  
  sectional analysis examined.  He quoted from page one of the                 
  H&SS, Women, Infants & Children fiscal note," DPH                            
  (Department of Public Health) and grantee staff must also                    
  assist applicants who request help in completing the voter                   
  registration forms and mail in the completed forms for                       
  individuals who do not wish to mail them themselves.  Under                  
  federal law, public health applicants must be requested to                   
  agree to decline in writing to register to vote, and written                 
  declinations must be retained in state records."  He then                    
  asked if state employees are supposed to suggest party                       
  affiliation to individuals.                                                  
  Number 305                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY replied, under present law, party affiliation is                 
  an optional category of information.  He had not checked to                  
  see if SSHB 346 would change this provision.                                 
  Number 307                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified there is a provision which                    
  prohibits a registration official or assistant from seeking                  
  to influence a voter registration applicant's political                      
  preference regarding political party.  Assistants would be                   
  instructed not to interfere with an applicant's party                        
  Number 313                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY received a fiscal note from the Department of                    
  Public Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles.  He commented to                  
  the committee that Jack Chenoweth, Legal Services Division,                  
  was available to testify although he had not signed the                      
  witness register.                                                            
  Number 334                                                                   
  DIVISION, introduced himself.                                                
  Number 339                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified that Mr. Chenoweth was                       
  speaking about SSHB 346.                                                     
  CHAIR VEZEY was not aware of a sponsor substitute.                           
  Number 348                                                                   
  MR. CHENOWETH stated HB 346 and SSHB 346 are "identical                      
  except for a definition supplied to (indiscernible) of                       
  public assistance that narrows the programs that must                        
  Number 350                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY stated he did not have a copy of SSHB 346 in his                 
  Number 352                                                                   
  MR. CHENOWETH stated SSHB 346 is proposed, because years ago                 
  Congress decided it ought to have a larger role in                           
  overseeing federal elections.  The Motor Voter Act                           
  specifically states that the provisions, required of states,                 
  are required because of federal elections.  He believed the                  
  changes being proposed in law to comply with the Motor Voter                 
  Act should not result in a "dual registration system - one                   
  for federal office and one for everything else.."  The                       
  changes proposed in SSHB 346 would be "across the board,"                    
  although the requirements of the Motor Voter Act are                         
  "imposed upon the conduct, by the state, of its federal                      
  elections."  Only four sections of the Motor Voter Act are                   
  pertinent to the changes proposed in SSHB 346.  The                          
  requirements relating to voter registration has to be made                   
  simultaneously with the motor vehicle driver's license.                      
  MR. CHENOWETH sensed the Department of Public Safety's                       
  current process of forwarding the registration applications                  
  to the Division of Elections was not sufficient.  The                        
  language of the Motor Voter Act states,"each state motor                     
  vehicle driver's license application, including any renewal                  
  application submitted to the appropriate state motor vehicle                 
  authority under state law, shall serve as an application for                 
  voter registration unless the applicant fails to sign the                    
  voter registration application."  In summary, there will be                  
  a one or two page form requiring all the information                         
  normally given as part of a motor vehicle registration form                  
  combined with specific voter registration information,                       
  determining district area, etc.  SSHB 346 makes this form                    
  change.  If an individual changes his/her address at the                     
  DMV, it will correspondingly change his/her election                         
  registration address, unless the individual chooses not to                   
  do so.  The National Voter Registration Act requires voter                   
  registration applications by mail, of which Alaska does                      
  extensively.  SSHB 346 changes will conform state law to                     
  organize the content of the mail-in form to federal                          
  requirements.  Public assistance agencies were also                          
  recognized, under the federal Motor Voter Act, as agents for                 
  voter registration.  SSHB 346 addresses programs which deal                  
  with Medicaid, AFDC, food stamps, and the Women, Infants &                   
  Children program as the agents for voter registration.                       
  These programs are primarily within H&SS, as public                          
  assistance, and will receive and process application                         
  materials.  There are also federal requirements which                        
  require the state to try to contact an individual before                     
  his/her registration is purged.  Getting no response or an                   
  incomplete response from the individual is the only                          
  legitimate way to purge individuals registrations from the                   
  master registration role.  An inactive registration status                   
  is no longer accepted federally.                                             
  MR. CHENOWETH believed the Lieutenant Governor's Office or                   
  the Governor has submitted a bill comparable to SSHB 346.                    
  HB 346 was drafted in the fall of 1993, based upon Mr.                       
  Chenoweth's review of the National Voter Registration Act.                   
  He agreed with Chair Vezey that Alaska does have an open                     
  registration system; however, the federal government has                     
  required that four areas be addressed.  He stated SSHB 346                   
  was drafted in response to these four areas.                                 
  (REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS left the meeting at 8:25 a.m.)                       
  CHAIR VEZEY clarified the scope of SSHB 346 is federal                       
  Number 452                                                                   
  MR. CHENOWETH said yes, the federal government requires the                  
  National Voter Registration Act apply to elections to                        
  federal office.  Rather than maintain a dual system, one at                  
  state level for legislative and gubernatorial elections and                  
  one for federal elections, a blended system will cease                       
  registration requirement misconceptions between the two                      
  Number 462                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY asked Representative Olberg if an examination of                 
  the sectional analysis was still necessary.                                  
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG said it was not necessary.                             
  Number 468                                                                   
  Hearing no objection, CHAIR VEZEY decided not to examine the                 
  sectional analysis.                                                          
  Number 469                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked what the consequences would be if                 
  Alaska did not comply with the Federal Motor Voter Act.                      
  Could someone challenge the validity of the vote in a                        
  federal election.                                                            
  Number 476                                                                   
  MR. CHENOWETH replied there would likely be a challenge to                   
  the vote.  By the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Alaska must                     
  submit any changes in elections through the Department of                    
  Justice for approval.  Certain citizens may try to take                      
  Alaska to court for not being in compliance with the                         
  National Voter Registration Act.  He believed the state may                  
  lose, and there would be a federal court order telling the                   
  state to comply.  A comparable bill to HB 346 would then                     
  have to be passed by a future legislature due to a court                     
  Number 489                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT inquired if there are any states already                 
  implementing similar policies to those covered in SSHB 346,                  
  or have they not had the opportunity.                                        
  Number 491                                                                   
  MR. CHENOWETH suspected most states are dealing with these                   
  changes in 1994.  North Dakota, was exempted, because it                     
  does not have voter registration.  By federal law, a citizen                 
  of North Dakota can walk in, show citizenship of that state,                 
  and vote without proof of registration.  Other states have a                 
  system whereby an individual can register to vote and caste                  
  a vote simultaneously, which exempts them from the federal                   
  law requirements.  Approximately 45 states are currently                     
  involved in the same initiating process as Alaska.  A 1996                   
  election year set date is allowed federally, for those                       
  states which have state Constitutional amendments to send to                 
  the ballot.  Alaska should have its statutes changed by                      
  January 1, 1995.                                                             
  Number 510                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if there were any exemptions or                    
  possibly a waiver which could apply to Alaska because of the                 
  permanent fund dividend and voter registration mailing                       
  Number 513                                                                   
  MR. CHENOWETH replied he had not seen any kind of waiver in                  
  the federal act which would apply to Alaska.  He felt the                    
  Division of Elections may be better able to find an                          
  exemption or waiver.                                                         
  Number 523                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY introduced LAURA GLAISER as the next to testify.                 
  Number 529                                                                   
  suggestions to SSHB 346.  She said the policies stated by                    
  Mr. Chenoweth are all in compliance with SB 303, drafted by                  
  her office.  Representatives from the Federal Election                       
  Commission and the Department of Justice (DOJ) worked with                   
  her to draft a bill which arrived at the Department of Law                   
  in September or October, and was submitted as SB 303.  She                   
  said, in drafting the bill, waivers and exemptions were not                  
  seen.  When the permanent fund dividend application process                  
  was illustrated to representatives from the DOJ, they could                  
  only reply "we won't tell you what you can do to be in                       
  compliance, we'll just sue you when you aren't."  Ms.                        
  Glaiser stated the DOJ will not review a state's bills first                 
  to see if they are even near compliance.  The DOJ is going                   
  to wait until Alaska is challenged and then force the state                  
  to make the changes.  SB 303 is an attempt to make the most                  
  minimum changes to Alaska's laws.  She asked if (they) cared                 
  if SB 303 affected voter turnout, believing registering                      
  additional people will not help, if they do not go to the                    
  polls to vote.  The Federal Election Commission told Ms.                     
  Glaiser they were not concerned with voter turnout.  She                     
  noted she had been working with Representative Ulmer on HB
  346 and pointed out there had been changes to suit their                     
  concerns in SSHB 346.                                                        
  MS. GLAISER was concerned about Section 5 of SSHB 346,                       
  requiring witnessing of a by-mail voter registration                         
  application, because Section 93 of the Federal Act states                    
  that no requirement can be made for notarization or other                    
  formally authentication may be included.  SB 303 has removed                 
  witnessing from all of the forms.  She relayed that other                    
  states are similarly blending these changes into their state                 
  laws, even though the federal act primarily relates to                       
  federal elections.  To set up a separate program for only                    
  federal elections would be nearly impossible to do.                          
  (REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS returned to the meeting at 8:38                      
  Number 569                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY asked if SB 303 passed, the state would no                       
  longer allow two persons to witness a voter registration,                    
  and make it harder to register to vote.                                      
  Number 572                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified SB 303 requires no witnesses                 
  to register to vote, the "Chicago provision."                                
  Number 574                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY responded any person could fill out a form, sign                 
  it, and they are registered.                                                 
  Number 575                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER explained the provision related to by-mail voter                 
  registration and by-mail voting.  She saw a conflict between                 
  requiring those who apply in person to be witnessed and not                  
  requiring witnessing from those who apply by mail.                           
  Number 581                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY believed the current mail-in form requires the                   
  signature of two citizens of the state of Alaska.                            
  Number 582                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER replied yes.                                                     
  Number 584                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified signatures are required at                    
  present, and also in SSHB 346.  She pointed out SSHB 346 has                 
  eliminated the requirement of a notary.  She felt the                        
  requirement to notarize was the provision in conflict with                   
  federal law, and asked Ms. Glaiser if it was her                             
  understanding that the interpretation is that the federal                    
  law requires no witnessing requirements for registration by                  
  Number 590                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY was not aware of anywhere in voter registration                  
  or voting where a notary signature is required.                              
  Number 592                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER  stated a notary is required by existing law.                    
  Number 596                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER referenced page 3, Section 5, of the                    
  existing law AS 15.07.070(b), regarding the notary public.                   
  SSHB 346 would remove this.  Page 3, line 17-22, of the                      
  existing law can be read with regard to what notarization is                 
  Number 600                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER noted the exact language of the law had been,                    
  and is suggested to be removed in SSHB 346 as well as SB
  303.  "The form shall be executed before notary public, a                    
  commissioned officer of the armed forces including the                       
  national guard, a district judge or magistrate, a United                     
  States Postal Official, or other person qualified to                         
  administer oath.  If none of the officials listed in this                    
  subsection is reasonably accessible, the person shall have                   
  the form witnessed by two persons over the age of 18 years."                 
  CHAIR VEZEY clarified a notary is a public official who can                  
  register an individual to vote.                                              
  MS. GLAISER said yes.                                                        
  Number 607                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY asked why the notary requirement should be taken                 
  out; thereby, narrowing the number of public officials who                   
  can register individuals to vote                                             
  Number 609                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER responded with the federal mandate, it is                        
  believed the removal of all the stipulations will make it                    
  easier for a person to vote.  When the Federal Elections                     
  Commission was asked whether witnessing was formal                           
  authentication, they replied yes.                                            
  Number 613                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY commented the federal government seemed to be                    
  advocating the election process be opened up to election                     
  fraud.  The current form at least gives some independent                     
  verification that the information is true.  He gave an                       
  example of fraud, which used to take place years ago in                      
  Chicago, where names from the cemetery were used to register                 
  voters.  He felt the results of SSHB 346 would be ludicrous.                 
  Number 618                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER shared Chair Vezey's concerns. She stated when                   
  she met with the federal government, it was very frustrating                 
  to her because their legislators who worked on this Act were                 
  not present at any of the meetings.  She could not find any                  
  other response for Alaska to get into compliance.                            
  Number 627                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY felt opening up the elections and inviting voter                 
  fraud would not be a "feather in the cap of democracy."                      
  Voter fraud has been a serious problem in the United States.                 
  He stated the legality of John F. Kennedy's presidential                     
  election as an example.                                                      
  MS. GLAISER replied she has read extensively on voter fraud;                 
  however, Alaska must work within the federal mandate.  The                   
  federal government argued is "it is just as easy to have two                 
  fraudulent witnesses as it is to commit fraud on your own."                  
  Individuals do still have to sign a disclaimer that the                      
  information given is true, and it is a misdemeanor if it is                  
  Number 639                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY commented an individual could, in the meantime,                  
  vote ten times under false names.                                            
  Number 640                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER replied only once.                                               
  Number 642                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY stated people can be very clever and there are                   
  records of dead people voting in the United States.                          
  Number 644                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER believed Chair Vezey's concerns had been voiced                  
  in Congress and "this is what's resulted."                                   
  Number 646                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated at the Oil Spill Trustees                       
  meeting, there is never a written legal opinion when they                    
  discuss a proposal.  Something is proposed, passed on to the                 
  Justice Department, and the Justice Department says they do                  
  not like it.  When the Oil Spill Trustees ask the DOJ if                     
  they want to put their disagreement in writing, they reply,                  
  "no we would not."  If the DOJ did submit a written                          
  disagreement, Representative Olberg stated, the court would                  
  probably find the statement illegal.  He felt Ms. Glaiser                    
  may have had a similar type of conversation with the DOJ.                    
  Number 655                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY said if this scenario troubled Representative                    
  Olberg, he should note there has been about a 25 percent                     
  increase in the number of federal attorneys within the last                  
  year or two.                                                                 
  Number 658                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT felt the objective of the federal                        
  mandate is to get people registered, even if they do not                     
  want to respond and vote.  He could not understand why the                   
  federal mandate was introduced as it is.  Representative                     
  Kott expressed concern over the purging of records, and                      
  wondered if the records would swell tremendously.  What                      
  would the Division of Elections do to minimize the overload                  
  and keep track of those moving around and out of the state.                  
  MS. GLAISER replied she had similar concerns.  Alaska is                     
  fortunate to have a computerized voting system, other states                 
  are in a much worse position in trying to adapt.  The                        
  Division of Elections has a computerized registration list,                  
  which will be the master copy to suit the federal mandate.                   
  The district printouts will be in order because Alaska has                   
  questioned and absentee ballots, a form of "fail safe                        
  voting" in federal terms.  The concern of the federal                        
  mandate is federal elections.  No one in Alaska will have                    
  their rights abridged by the current process of purging                      
  individuals from the voting system.  The lack of voting                      
  cannot be the only reason a person is purged, a notice must                  
  be sent.                                                                     
  TAPE 94-18, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER said the voters will have the opportunity to                     
  vote honestly and fairly with the questioned ballot system.                  
  If a person votes on a questioned ballot, he/she will                        
  automatically be put back on the master list.  Signing a                     
  petition, after not voting for two-four years, will                          
  automatically move a person back on to the precinct and                      
  district lists.  The federal mandate has helped the Division                 
  of Elections open up the voting system and make it better                    
  and more accessible to Alaskans.                                             
  Number 015                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT clarified the lists will be clear and                    
  expressed his current lists have three or four families                      
  assigned to the same household.  Because the current problem                 
  may compound by two-fold, Representative Kott felt the lists                 
  would not be very clear.                                                     
  Number 033                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER responded the Division of Elections is doing the                 
  best they can to work with the voter registration cards.  It                 
  is the person's responsibility to keep the cards clear and                   
  the Division makes the changes as soon as they are                           
  available.  The simultaneous registration through motor                      
  vehicles, provided by the motor voter law, will enhance the                  
  Number 049                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG asked if every seasonal employee who                   
  comes to Alaska and accesses any of these services is going                  
  to be or may be registered to vote.                                          
  Number 058                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER answered as long they meet the requirements for                  
  voter registration, they will be registered.  Individuals                    
  who are trying to receive permanent fund dividends are                       
  already registering to vote and will probably continue to do                 
  so.  SSHB 346 and SB 303 do not include provisions to block                  
  this kind of registration.  The Division of Elections is                     
  open to suggestions.                                                         
  Number 073                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked for the other two suggestions Ms.                 
  Glasier had mentioned, as the committee had only heard one.                  
  Number 077                                                                   
  LAURA GLAISER stated Section 10 of SSHB 346, considers those                 
  people working within state agencies, which have been                        
  declared voter registration agencies, to be considered                       
  registrars.  Therefore, requiring training and possible                      
  testing and evaluation by the Division of Elections.  She                    
  stated, in the research she has done with the Division of                    
  Elections, in SB 303 the affected state agencies would be                    
  considered voter registration agencies, but not registrars.                  
  This is to give the agencies the freedom to perform their                    
  registration tasks, without requiring the testing,                           
  evaluation, and the record keeping by the Division of                        
  Elections. As registrars, she said, they would just add to                   
  the bureaucracy, and the testing and evaluation by the                       
  Division of Elections will require a full-time employee to                   
  manage it.                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER mentioned her concern with state agencies                        
  assisting people in the voter registration application.  She                 
  suggested the use of a sheet that state agencies could hand                  
  out which gives a written description of the different                       
  parties.  Each party could write a 50-word or less                           
  description in their own words.  This would avoid putting                    
  the state employee in an awkward position when a person asks                 
  a compromising question.                                                     
  MS. GLAISER noted SSHB 346 fails to designate a chief                        
  election official and Section 10 of the National Voter                       
  Registration Act requires each state to designate a state                    
  officer to be responsible for the coordination of this Act.                  
  SB 303 names the director of the Division of Elections to do                 
  Number 139                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER returned to the registrars issue in                     
  Section 10 of Federal Motor Voter Act.  If the employee                      
  assisting registration is not considered a registrar, but                    
  should have some training, how important is it to designate                  
  that employee as somebody else.  She wanted to clarify if                    
  Ms. Glaiser meant only one employee in the agency or more,                   
  and if they would be properly trained.                                       
  Number 154                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER replied there would be a training seminar for                    
  those employees within the agencies that would be providing                  
  the voter assistance.  If a trained employee left his/her                    
  position, the responsibility would exist to train the                        
  incumbent employee or have a yearly refresher training                       
  seminar.  The training for registrars currently takes about                  
  15-20 minutes.  Not naming the separate agencies as                          
  registrars will prevent them from having to be tested and                    
  Number 173                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if the agency employees should be                 
  specially designated as voting assistants, so they do get                    
  the training and are different from other employees without                  
  the training.  The additional step up to registrar would not                 
  be required.                                                                 
  Number 176                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER answered SB 303 did not name the employees                       
  specifically.  Through regulation, policy and procedure                      
  between the agencies, they were going to be accepted as                      
  those people who will be assisting filling out the forms.                    
  She did not have a problem with naming them voting                           
  assistants and then define it in SSHB 346.  Her objective                    
  was to avoid the added bureaucracy, cost, and record keeping                 
  to the state.                                                                
  Number 189                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if registrars had to keep track                   
  of how many people they register and send it in.                             
  Number 191                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER responded the registrars system is kept                          
  separately in a computer file.  They are tested, can be                      
  evaluated, are responsible to the director, and they are                     
  appointed at the director's will.  She noted this provision                  
  is an agreement between the agency and the Division of                       
  Elections to come into compliance with the federal act.  The                 
  agencies do not serve at the pleasure of the director, so as                 
  not to come into conflict with certain agency rules.                         
  Number 217                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT clarified that this is an unfunded                       
  mandate from the federal government and there are no grant                   
  monies available.                                                            
  MS. GLAISER answered Representative Kott was correct.                        
  Number 227                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT wondered what the percentage of                          
  unregistered individuals in Alaska might be.                                 
  Number 231                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER replied she was not sure, but she guessed 67                     
  percent were not registered.  At the last general election,                  
  82.9 percent of voters turned out to vote.  She noted this                   
  percentage of voting individuals was relayed to the Federal                  
  Election Commission.  The participation and voter                            
  registration drives in Alaska are phenomenal, she thought.                   
  Number 242                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY believed there are approximately 340,000                         
  registered voters and a significantly high percentage of                     
  voter registration in Alaska.                                                
  Number 252                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Ms. Glaiser if 82.9 percent                        
  applied to registered voters.                                                
  MS. GLAISER said Representative Kott was correct.  The                       
  Division of Elections is researching how much it would cost                  
  to increase voter registration and at what percentage it                     
  would increase.  They do not know now.  She explained that                   
  if 85 percent are reached through motor vehicle                              
  registration, every household is reached with permanent fund                 
  dividend applications, and others reached through H&SS, the                  
  registration process will overlap.  The Division of                          
  Elections would like to do the most at the least expense.                    
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT commented the cliental which will now be                 
  registered generally do not vote.  He noticed the conflict                   
  in  the objective to get people registered, but not to                       
  ensure they actually vote.  He felt the objective should be                  
  the latter.  Representative Kott asked what the status of SB
  303 was.                                                                     
  MS. GLAISER answered SB 303 was in Senate State Affairs                      
  Committee and will be heard next week.                                       
  Number 283                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG inquired if there were any statistics                  
  as to how many people actually registered with the                           
  application included with the permanent fund dividend (PFD)                  
  MS. GLAISER replied the first year, there were a great deal                  
  of errors with individuals filling out the form incomplete.                  
  The form serves as a notification of a change of address,                    
  more so than increasing voter registration.  There is a low                  
  percentage which affect increasing voter registration.                       
  Number 297                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG commented the state pays people a                      
  dividend to register to vote and asked what more incentive                   
  must there be.  An individual acquires an address, driver's                  
  license, and a voter registration when they first come to                    
  Alaska to establish a residency date to get a dividend.  He                  
  noted Alaska is the only state which pays $900 a year to                     
  register to vote and asked Ms. Glasier if that had been                      
  suggested as a possible exemption.                                           
  MS. GLAISER affirmed Representative Olberg, and replied the                  
  attorney she has dealt with has worked with Alaska on                        
  reapportionment issues and he was very familiar with the                     
  unique features Alaska has to offer.  She said the                           
  attorneys, with their knowledge, still could not answer or                   
  confirm Alaska would be exempt with the PFD application.                     
  She has been in several meetings to discuss challenging                      
  solely on the basis of the PFD application, and no one felt                  
  secure the state would win in court.  Having the court                       
  decide something much worse for the state was more of a                      
  REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS reiterated other states were given                 
  waivers and wanted to know why they were.                                    
  Number 324                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER responded North Dakota was exempted because they                 
  have no voter registration at all, and the other possibility                 
  was if an individual could register simultaneously at the                    
  poll when going to cast a vote.  Congress' intent was to                     
  make in as simple as possible.                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS asked if both of those exemptions                    
  were used in North Dakota.                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY clarified there were two states.                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS understood.                                          
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG suggested the committee should                         
  consider the options that Ms. Glaiser mentioned as                           
  exemptions.  At least an individual would have to physically                 
  be there to vote.                                                            
  Number 348                                                                   
  MS. GLAISER responded Alaska cannot go back and change our                   
  current laws, it would have had to be in place when the                      
  president signed the Federal Motor Voter Law.                                
  Number 355                                                                   
  Hearing no more testimony, CHAIR VEZEY held SSHB 346 in                      
  committee for further review.  He called for a recess at                     
  9:06 a.m. and noted HB 483 would be postponed by sponsor                     
  HCR 27 - SUPPORT NRA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM                                      
  Number 374                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY called the meeting back to order at 9:12 a.m.                    
  and opened HCR 27 for discussion.                                            
  Number 379                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE, HCR 27 SPONSOR, gave an overview                   
  of the bill.  HCR 27 is an attempt to encourage school                       
  children in Alaska to learn to protect themselves from gun                   
  accidents.  HCR 27 is not an advocacy program for gun                        
  ownership, it simply informs children on how to protect                      
  themselves.  Similar to what children once learned about                     
  fire safety, stop-drop-and roll, the gun safety training                     
  program for kindergarten through sixth grade will teach them                 
  if there is a firearm present to leave the area and tell an                  
  adult.  This program also applies to children who come                       
  across poorly stored firearms in the home.  Representative                   
  Bunde realized the fact that since the NRA is sponsoring HCR
  27, it might make some individuals nervous; however, he                      
  repeated, it does not advocate the possession or use of                      
  weapons.  He commented that 560 children between the ages                    
  10-14 died from firearm injuries.  One out of eight deaths                   
  in children is due to firearm injuries.  High schools have                   
  an increasing rate of violence and teaching children at a                    
  young age to stay away from them would be beneficial.                        
  Representative Bunde has owned firearms since he was twelve                  
  and his father taught him safety and responsibility.                         
  Children, these days, are not raised around firearms as much                 
  as they were in the past, and now have a greater chance of                   
  seeing one for the first time at the neighbors or in a                       
  backpack at school.  Firearm accidents are preventable and                   
  the Eddie Eagle Program would give children "thrust" to be                   
  able to protect themselves and tell an adult in a firearm                    
  (REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG reentered from the recess at 9:15                     
  Number 449                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS commented page 2, line 12, states,                   
  "whereas teachers and police departments in 42 states have                   
  already implemented a gun safety program for some elementary                 
  schools."  He then asked if this was taken from one of his                   
  sources of information, as he imagined some teachers in                      
  every state teach gun safety.                                                
  Number 457                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE responded the information in HCR 27 was                 
  information he received from the Eddie Eagle Program.  These                 
  programs are formally recognized, as opposed to a section in                 
  a health safety class.  He believed the Mat-Su area was the                  
  only area in Alaska with 27 schools teaching a firearms                      
  safety program.  He was "grim" to say Anchorage schools do                   
  not have these programs and seem to be "in no great hurry to                 
  establish a program."  Representative Bunde was informed by                  
  a parent there had been three firearm incidents in two                       
  schools in south Anchorage, and they are not being reported                  
  to the press or police.  Apparently the school system wanted                 
  to reduce panic or deal with the problem themselves.  He                     
  stated "on very good authority...in a related area, teachers                 
  were told to quit bringing complaints, no more kids were                     
  going to be suspended because it was making the school                       
  system look bad."  Suspension has been a punishment for                      
  bringing firearms on campus.                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER did not mind endorsing gun safety, but                  
  she would like to see a video of the specific program before                 
  she endorsed it.  Without more information on the Eddie                      
  Eagle Program, she would be more inclined to support general                 
  gun safety programs.                                                         
  Number 488                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied he did have a video tape,                       
  posters, and coloring books.  The tape had been given to                     
  someone, but he could get another.                                           
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER encouraged the committee to watch the                   
  video tape before adopting the program.  She noted a title                   
  may be misconceiving about the contents of the tape.                         
  Number 496                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if the video tape was the same as                  
  the one he had seen involving the police and the woman                       
  dialing 911.                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE answered no, the Eddie Eagle video tape                 
  was aimed at young children being a cartoon with an eagle                    
  flying around and commenting.                                                
  Number 501                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said the tape he had seen, published by                  
  the NRA, begins with a two minute discussion of an incident,                 
  then blends into the Eddie Eagle portion.  This tape had a                   
  four-five minute clip on the gun safety program and he                       
  wondered if it was the same tape.                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied the materials he has are what                   
  is available for use in the classrooms and Representative                    
  Kott may have the promotional tape about the program.                        
  Number 509                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT questioned page two, line 13, if it was                  
  referring to the actual Eddie Eagle Program or various gun                   
  safety programs.                                                             
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE answered the Eddie Eagle Program.                       
  Number 514                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY said his packet did not include any information                  
  about the narrative of the Eddie Eagle Program.  He wanted                   
  to know if he was missing it.                                                
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE had not handed it out on the assumption                 
  the committee already knew what the program was about.                       
  Number 518                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY replied he had not known about it, but was                       
  certain it was a good program.  House State Affairs                          
  Committee is the only committee of referral and he would let                 
  the committee decide.                                                        
  Number 522                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE would like the committee to review the                  
  tape before passing HCR 27 out of committee.  The tape is                    
  already on order and it should be available soon.                            
  Hearing no objection from the committee to wait and see tape                 
  CHAIR VEZEY agreed.                                                          
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said the content of the tape had been                    
  well discussed.  The theme of the program tells children to                  
  tell an adult if they see a gun.                                             
  Number 533                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Fairbanks teleconference site.                      
  testified in favor of HCR 27.  He has been a hunter safety                   
  instructor for 31 years in Alaska and a NRA firearms                         
  instructor for 22 years.  Alaska has one of the highest                      
  death and accident rates in the United States.  Forty states                 
  have mandatory hunter safety training programs, a result of                  
  which has been a steady decline in hunting accidents                         
  throughout the nation.  In 1992, only 146 people were killed                 
  by hunting accidents.  More than ten times that number were                  
  killed in bicycle accidents.  Juvenile hunting fatalities                    
  have dropped due to hunter safety training which the NRA                     
  started 40 years ago.  The Eddie Eagle program "is not                       
  experimental and not research."  The amount of firearms will                 
  not reduce, but the number of juvenile accidents can.                        
  Number 567                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if Mr. Burris said 44 states have                 
  a mandatory hunter safety program.                                           
  MR. BURRIS clarified, only 40 states.                                        
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if the programs were for an adult                 
  hunter safety requirement.                                                   
  MR. BURRIS replied there is variation between states on                      
  whether one has to be an adult or a juvenile to take the                     
  Number 574                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if the programs were a                            
  requirement to acquire a hunting license for those states.                   
  What was their process?                                                      
  Number 576                                                                   
  MR. BURRIS answered, in some states the program is a                         
  requirement for a hunting license, and even if a license is                  
  not required, a juvenile must take the program before going                  
  hunting.  States vary between everyone having the program                    
  and new hunters or juveniles only.                                           
  Number 584                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if Mr. Burris felt this would be                  
  a good idea for Alaska.                                                      
  MR. BURRIS responded it was another issue, but he was in                     
  favor of it.                                                                 
  Number 586                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER questioned if any of the schools in his                 
  community are currently using the program or if they have                    
  had experience with it.                                                      
  Number 588                                                                   
  MR. BURRIS replied some of the schools teachers have used                    
  the program on an individual basis.  There has not been an                   
  adoption of the program by any school he knows of.                           
  Number 591                                                                   
  LAWFUL USE OF FIREARMS, testified in support of HCR 27.  He                  
  said, HCR 27 will help educate children about safety in                      
  relation to firearms.  The program is important in terms of                  
  preventing accidents among young people.  The Eddie Eagle                    
  program is a successful program and he appreciated                           
  Representative Bunde for introducing it.  Alaska should take                 
  an active role in reducing the amount of firearm accidents.                  
  Number 608                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER questioned whether the program had been                 
  used very much in Mr. Bishop's community.   If he knew of a                  
  teacher who had experience with the program in his/her                       
  classroom, she would like to talk to them to find out how it                 
  was used, the children's reactions to it, and if it made a                   
  Number 615                                                                   
  MR. BISHOP said he would contact Representative Ulmer if he                  
  found a teacher in his community.  If not, he would look in                  
  other areas.  There have been various attempts to adopt                      
  firearms education programs, but they have not received                      
  widespread integration into the school curriculums.                          
  Number 625                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Bethel teleconference site.                         
  Number 626                                                                   
  VERN KEEZER testified in favor of HCR 27 and agreed with Mr.                 
  Burris and Mr. Bishop. He felt the Eddie Eagle program would                 
  be appropriate for older students, as well as elementary.                    
  For those in the hunting age of 10-18, hunter safety                         
  training should be available to them at the same time.                       
  Number 634                                                                   
  Hearing no more testimony, CHAIR VEZEY held HCR 27 in                        
  committee for further review.                                                
  HB 392 was opened for discussion.  He stated Representative                  
  Sean Parnell is chairing a House Finance Subcommittee                        
  meeting and could not come to testify; however, RICHARD                      
  VITALE would take his place.  CHAIR VEZEY explained HB 392                   
  is a technical bill which adopts into statute many of the                    
  current regulations, regarding the Alaska Permanent Fund                     
  Dividend, and clarifies issues that Mr. Vitale will                          
  highlight in his overview.                                                   
  HB 392 - PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND PROGRAM                                     
  Number 654                                                                   
  RICHARD VITALE gave an overview of HB 392.  HB 392 addresses                 
  three subjects.  First, many of the regulations will being                   
  adopted into statute to simplify things that have already                    
  been proven to work.  As regulations it is easier for them                   
  to change, but as statutes there will not be a lot of                        
  changes without the scrutiny of the legislature.  This is at                 
  the request of Representative Parnell and the Permanent Fund                 
  Dividend Division.  Second, HB 392 will close loopholes and                  
  try to bring back some of the statutes and regulations to                    
  the original intent of the PFD legislation.  Legal                           
  challenges over the past couple years have created                           
  loopholes.  Third, and the most pressing, HB 392 will                        
  address a court decision of late, which disallowed the                       
  piggyback rule, which states a person out of the state with                  
  a spouse on an allowable absence, also gets that allowable                   
  absence.  The court just ruled the spouse that is                            
  accompanying the person does not get the allowable absence,                  
  therefore, does not get their PFD.  The last two years are                   
  now disallowed for approximately 1,600 people.  HB 392 would                 
  retroactively put these people back in, as well as, fix the                  
  problem for the future.                                                      
  Number 675                                                                   
  DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, joined MR. VITALE at the table to                     
  testify.  He felt Mr. Vitale's summary of HB 392 was                         
  accurate.  A vast majority of HB 392 makes technical                         
  corrections, appropriately moves items into statute that are                 
  currently in regulation.  He offered to examine the                          
  sectional summary with the committee.  Section 1, for                        
  technical purposes, updates a reference to correspond to the                 
  amendments made in Section 12.                                               
  Number 687                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY clarified that paragraph B3 would be changed to                  
  MR. WILLIAMS answered that Chair Vezey was correct.  In                      
  Section 2 the primary emphasis was to redefine allowable                     
  absences as eligibility criteria, instead of elements of                     
  residency, as current statutes do.  Section 2 also                           
  eliminates the multiple references to individual.  He stated                 
  individuals, who have lived in Alaska for several years,                     
  take offense when the PFD Division says they are not out on                  
  an allowable absence, therefore, not a resident for PFD                      
  TAPE 94-16, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if a person were to marry a                       
  nonresident outside or inside the state would the                            
  nonresident spouse be eligible for the piggyback rule.                       
  Number 008                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS answered no, the current PFD statutes state an                  
  individual is a state resident, if they are physically                       
  present in the state or on one of the defined allowable                      
  absences.  Two years ago in SB 327, there was a                              
  clarification made that the definition of residency should                   
  correspond to the definition already contained in Title 1,                   
  the general state definition of residency.  By moving the                    
  allowable absence out of the definition of residency for PFD                 
  purposes, has no effect on the linkage to the true                           
  definition of the state resident.                                            
  CHAIR VEZEY clarified to Representative Ulmer, Section 2                     
  eliminates six repetitions of the word "individual,"                         
  clarifies an individual has to be a resident on the date of                  
  application, it does not define what a resident is.  The                     
  only addition is that it clarifies that a person is eligible                 
  for a dividend if he/she is not present in the state for one                 
  of the reasons which is considered to be an allowable                        
  Number 039                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS continued examining the sectional analysis.                     
  Section 3 closes a loophole for children born out of state                   
  to nonresidents, and exempts children from the current six                   
  month predeparture residency requirement that would be                       
  enacted in Section 5.  When SB 327 was enacted, there was an                 
  amendment that allowed an individual or child of an eligible                 
  resident on allowable absence to qualify for a dividend,                     
  even though the child had not been physically present in the                 
  state.  Prior to that time, a child born out of state had to                 
  return back to the state to receive a PFD.  When the                         
  amendment to SB 327 was adopted two years ago, a loophole in                 
  the wording of it existed.  For example, a nonresident                       
  couple lives out of state, he moves to Alaska and                            
  establishes residency, she remains out of state and has a                    
  baby, he then claims the child as an eligible dependent and                  
  claims a PFD for that child.  This example is not what the                   
  original legislation was intended to do.  HB 392 would make                  
  sure the child would have to be an allowable absence.  HB
  392 would not interfere with the original intent of the                      
  changes made in SB 327.                                                      
  Section 4 addresses the issue of what happens with a                         
  suspended imposition of sentence (SIS).  AS 43.23.005(d)                     
  makes an individual who was incarcerated for a felony                        
  conviction ineligible for a dividend.  It has been                           
  questioned if an individual was granted an SIS and if the                    
  terms were completed, whether or not a true conviction                       
  exists.  Section 4 clarifies even with an SIS, the                           
  individual would also lose eligibility for a dividend and                    
  the conviction would not be overturned.                                      
  Section 5 places in statute all absences currently allowable                 
  by statute and regulation.  Section 5 eliminates the                         
  Department of Revenue's (DOR) discretion to add allowable                    
  absences.  Section 5 also moves into statute, the six month                  
  predeparture regulatory requirement for absences exceeding                   
  180 days during the qualifying year.  The language in the                    
  allowable absence list has minor technical changes and is                    
  consistent with current laws by recommendation of                            
  Legislative Legal staff.                                                     
  Section 6 ensures an applicant must sign their application                   
  and adds the requirement for verification into statute.                      
  Having verification from two witnesses reduces the chances                   
  for fraud.                                                                   
  Section 7, similar to Section 4, basically will keep                         
  penalties intact, even with an SIS, for trying to defraud                    
  the program.                                                                 
  Section 8 allows duplicate payments of dividends to be                       
  assessed without a time limit.  In SB 327, there were                        
  changes made in the statute of limitations to identify                       
  erroneous dividend payments, whereby the 10 year period was                  
  reduced to 3 years.  He stated the DOR wanted the ability to                 
  retrieve erroneous payments regardless of the time elapsed.                  
  Section 9 allows the DOR to withhold payments if an                          
  applicant has an unpaid assessment pending.  The DOR will                    
  withhold payment until there is a resolution of the prior                    
  year assessment, but the DOR is limited to take timely                       
  Section 10 makes the DOR's current authority to establish                    
  deadlines explicit.                                                          
  Section 11 clarifies language to correspond to the original                  
  intent as administered from the beginning of the program.                    
  Section 12 gives the PFD program priority in recovering                      
  erroneous payments before all other levies, executions,                      
  garnishments, and attachments.  The IRS or Child Support                     
  authorities, for example, would not be able to confiscate                    
  the dividend before PFD officials, if a dividend was                         
  accidentally paid to an ineligible person.                                   
  Section 13 corrects a grammatical error.                                     
  Section 14 adds language to make it clear that the intent of                 
  the statute cannot be circumvented by having a judgment                      
  assigned to a court, only to be distributed to a private                     
  party, by the court, on the assigner's behalf.  The court                    
  system challenged a provision within SB 327, whereby the                     
  dividend could only be assigned to a government agency.                      
  This change would clarify the intent of the statute.                         
  Section 15 places into statute most of the current                           
  confidentiality regulations.  The DOR would like                             
  clarification as to what can and cannot be disclosed from                    
  the dividend file, since it is one of the largest single                     
  sources of data in Alaska.  An individual's privacy is a                     
  Section 16 deletes the references to absences and the                        
  definition of state resident, this is in concert with                        
  Section 2.  Absences are redefined as eligibility criteria                   
  in Section 3, and the specific absences are listed in                        
  Section 5.  Section 16 clarifies that while absent, an                       
  individual must maintain at all times, an intent to return                   
  to remain permanently in order to retain residency.  Section                 
  16 is also renumbered as appropriate.                                        
  Section 17 reaffirms 1992 and 1993 eligibility of                            
  individuals accompanying their eligible resident spouse.                     
  Superior Court Judge Dana Fabe's December 16, 1993, decision                 
  invalidated the "piggyback" provision of 15 AAC 23.163                       
  (c)(15) effective January 1, 1992.  This will affect                         
  approximately 1,600.                                                         
  Sections 18, 19, and 20 relate to the effective dates.                       
  (Sectional analysis available on file.)                                      
   Number 286                                                                  
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER understood Section 17 to be a major                     
  issue, in terms of both people and money; therefore, she                     
  wanted Mr. Williams to go over it again.  She clarified a                    
  couple would have to have been married and living in Alaska,                 
  being eligible for a PFD, to then leave with an allowable                    
  absence.  By definition the accompanying spouse would                        
  similarly be given the allowable absence, thus allowed to                    
  receive the PFD.  She asked Mr. Williams if she was correct.                 
  Number 298                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS responded she was correct.  The "piggyback"                     
  provision has been in regulation since the beginning of the                  
  program, because it did not make sense to grant an                           
  individual an allowable absence and not treat his/her family                 
  similarly.  A regulation was adopted to account for this                     
  provision.  SB 327, in part, addressed a concern as to how                   
  the DOR was viewing the eligibility of spouses of                            
  nonresidents.  Specific language was added which said, in                    
  essence, the DOR shall consider all the relevant facts in                    
  determining an individual's residency.  The original bill                    
  draft stated, "and you cannot consider the residency of an                   
  individual spouse as the only reason to deny the spouse."                    
  He mentioned on the House floor there was an amendment                       
  proposed that said residency could not be considered at all.                 
  When that amendment was adopted, the DOR noted it would                      
  invalidate the "piggyback" rule.  Accordingly, the House                     
  adopted other language which said, "residency could not be                   
  the principle factor."  The DOR had thought this change                      
  solved the problem, however, Superior Court Judge Fabe                       
  concluded the "piggyback" rule was basing an individual's                    
  eligibility or residency as the principle factor.                            
  Number 351                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG asked how this conflict had gotten to                  
  court or why was a judge involved.                                           
  Number 354                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS stated the court challenge came as a result of                  
  an Alaska resident, who was absent with a nonresident, the                   
  nonresident was serving in the military, therefore the                       
  resident claimed she should have also been given an                          
  allowable absence.  The DOR did not see the regulation                       
  allowed for this.  Judge Fabe did agree with the DOR on this                 
  issue, but in reviewing the whole issue, she felt the                        
  "piggyback" rule was invalidated by the changes made in SB
  Number 372                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified Section 17 only applies if                    
  they were married in Alaska and both were eligible for                       
  dividends before they left Alaska.  Both individuals have to                 
  be eligible to then have allowable absence.                                  
  Number 378                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS replied a nonresident is not entitled to a                      
  dividend.  It does not matter where the marriage takes                       
  place, only that both residents are eligible before                          
  Number 383                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER responded they must then be a family                    
  unit or their allowable absence could not "piggyback."                       
  MR. WILLIAMS clarified a spouse or a minor dependent.                        
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER believed then it does matter where the                  
  couple is married, because they have to be a family unit                     
  before they left the state.                                                  
  Number 389                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS responded in order to claim the "piggyback"                     
  allowable absence, Representative Ulmer was correct.                         
  Number 391                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT clarified Section 17 was basically the                   
  same section he dealt with in Judiciary, Representative                      
  Eldon Mulder's bill, a couple of weeks ago.  He had similar                  
  concerns about residency, particularly relating to military                  
  families, and asked if Section 17 would resolve this problem                 
  and afford those dependents PFD checks.                                      
  Number 404                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS answered Section 17 would not resolve the                       
  concerns raised in House Judiciary about HB 75.  Section 17                  
  will resolve problems caused by Judge Fabe's court decision.                 
  Section 17 does not allow an individual resident                             
  accompanying a nonresident to retain eligibility for the                     
  dividend.  Residents accompanying residents on allowable                     
  absence, to remain eligible for the dividend.                                
  Number 418                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS saw the DOR's point with Section 12,                 
  where the PFD program is the first in line for receiving                     
  unallowed payments.  For the overall residents of the state,                 
  however, the DOR would be better off to allow for a child                    
  support payment first, which would be more beneficial to the                 
  state.  He felt there was probably more cost associated with                 
  attempting to recover those funds if they did not have this                  
  first option, rather than retrieving for the PFD program.                    
  Number 433                                                                   
  MR. VITALE stated Representative Parnell's opinion on this                   
  subject.  Representative Parnell felt the money never                        
  belonged to these individuals in the first place, and once                   
  it is presented in this manner it may set a bad precedent.                   
  To give the money to another party to cover the individual's                 
  debt is to acknowledge that it was their money to begin                      
  with.  The money should be given back since it is "akin to                   
  stolen money," although not intentionally stolen.  Child                     
  support provisions are worthy, but the DOR should have the                   
  money back first.                                                            
  Number 447                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY noticed the time being near 10:00 a.m. and asked                 
  what time session was.                                                       
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT answered 11:00 a.m.                                      
  Number 450                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER visualized a military couple that                       
  becomes eligible and they leave the state, saying they                       
  intend to remain residents.  She then asked how long this                    
  couple could be out of state and still receive a PFD check.                  
  Number 460                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS responded, as long as the couple can                            
  demonstrate residency, basically indefinitely.  Under                        
  regulation, there is a presumption that an individual who                    
  has been absent for five years, for most of the allowable                    
  absences, does not really have the intent to return to                       
  remain permanently.  This presumption can be overcome in                     
  unique cases of demonstrating ties to the state.  Regulation                 
  does state the DOR will consider facts in determining                        
  whether an individual has overcome the five year presumption                 
  against them.  There is a higher threshold of proof after                    
  five years.                                                                  
  Number 475                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER was curious as to how the DOR deals                     
  with people on allowable absences differently whether or not                 
  they intend to maintain residency.  She believed the                         
  regulations Mr. Williams was referring to were used by                       
  people who review the applications. She asked if there were                  
  any percentages determining how long and how many people on                  
  allowable absences have been gone for.                                       
  MR. WILLIAMS replied there is currently a question on the                    
  PFD application that asks "you the last time that you have                   
  lived here for six consecutive months."  Based on this                       
  question and edit criteria, the DOR selected only 600                        
  individuals for an eligibility determination last year.                      
  This number does not include their spouses or their                          
  dependents.  He stated bright-line criteria is not readily                   
  available for this area, and it would be easier to                           
  administer, if perhaps the law said after a certain period                   
  time, an individual could not get the dividend.  The DOR has                 
  received letters from individuals who complain of people who                 
  are out of state, who still receive dividends, and do not                    
  intend to return to Alaska.                                                  
  Number 515                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER directed to Chair Vezey, HB 392 may be                  
  an opportunity to insert a bright-line, which might say                      
  after eight years, if a person has not returned to Alaska to                 
  live, the presumption changes.  A different test, rather                     
  than the initial one, may be administered.  She felt HB 392                  
  might be a good opportunity for the state to "close the                      
  door" or put people on notice that they need genuine intent                  
  to return to Alaska.                                                         
  Number 528                                                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS replied the DOR would welcome any bright-line                   
  criteria because it makes the administration easier and                      
  reduces their use of discretion.  Using discretion has been                  
  known to result in additional appeals.                                       
  Number 535                                                                   
  On behalf of Representative Parnell, MR. VITALE entered he                   
  is in very much in favor of bright-lines and tightening down                 
  the program.  There had been initial dialogue about a five                   
  year limit; however, this provision was stalled because it                   
  would eliminate Senators Murkowski and Stevens, and                          
  Congressman Young from the PFD.                                              
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified her point was not an                          
  automatic elimination, just a change in the presumption                      
  after the bright-line to require more proof.                                 
  Number 541                                                                   
  MR. VITALE responded to do what Representative Ulmer                         
  suggested the PFD would then be brought into judgment roles,                 
  which would have to be clarified.  He stated intent is                       
  really hard to define.  There is another option such as the                  
  introduced bill, which states a person cannot receive the                    
  money until he/she comes back for a year.  He emphasized                     
  Representative Parnell would be very willing to entertain                    
  wording in that manner.                                                      
  Number 554                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS noted students out of state may                      
  succumb to the large registration drives on their campuses                   
  to vote federally, which would automatically eliminate them                  
  from the PFD.  Registering out of state would automatically                  
  make them nonresidents, so it would take them another year                   
  to qualify as a residents, which in turn deprives them of                    
  the PFD for two years.  He was concerned for these students                  
  and realized it would be hard to judge a valid mistake.  He                  
  then asked if the DOR has any type of consideration which                    
  would put one of these students back on line sooner than two                 
  MR. WILLIAMS replied, in all instances, when an individual                   
  registers to vote in another state, they are declaring they                  
  are a resident of that state.  The DOR is well aware of the                  
  problem, but he felt there was not a reasonable basis for                    
  saying "we believe your original intent is to remain a                       
  resident here."  Regardless of voter registration or                         
  applying for property tax exemption, Title 1 states "you are                 
  a resident of the state of Alaska, until such time as you                    
  take steps inconsistent with that residency, or to establish                 
  residency elsewhere."                                                        
  Number 590                                                                   
  CHAIR VEZEY questioned whether it was good legislative                       
  drafting practice to incorporate into a statute, a former                    
  statute, referring to Section 17.  He felt it may be cleaner                 
  to incorporate the paragraph of the former statute in HB 392                 
  and not require a person to have to research what it says.                   
  Hearing no more testimony, CHAIR VEZEY held HB 392 in                        
  committee to be rescheduled and allow time for amendments to                 
  be proposed.                                                                 
  Chair Vezey adjourned the meeting at 10:16 a.m.                              
  BILLS NOT HEARD                                                              
  HB 483:      "An Act relating to payment of permanent fund                   
                dividends of certain individuals who have                      
                been absent from the state; and providing for                  
                an effective date."                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects