Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/24/1994 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE February 24, 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 351: "An Act relating to the issuance of permits for the carrying of a concealed weapon." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HJR 40: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the individual right to keep and bear arms. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 378: "An Act relating to the Older Alaskans Commission and staff of the commission; changing the name of the Older Alaskans Commission to the Alaska Commission on Aging and extending the termination date of the commission; relating to the Alaska Pioneers' Homes Advisory Board; relating to services and programs for older Alaskans; and providing for an effective date." HELD OVER HB 394: "An Act relating to limited partnerships; and providing for an effective date." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 436: "An Act prohibiting the Department of Environmental Conservation from adopting or enforcing a regulation that establishes an ambient air quality standard or emission standard that is more stringent than a corresponding federal standard; and providing for an effective date." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing.) WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES Alaska State Legislature Alaska State Capitol, Room 501 Juneau, AK 99811 Phone: 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of CSHB 351 THOMAS THEISEN P.O. Box 212 Delta Junction, AK 99737 Phone: 895-4850 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 MARK CHRYSON, State Representative Gun Owners of America 2140 Wolverine Circle Wasilla, AK 99654 Phone: 376-8285 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 ROY BRITTAIN HC60 Box 330-M Copper Center, AK 99573 Phone: 822-3051 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 LYMAN NICHOLS P.O. Box 783 Cooper Landing, AK 99572 Phone: Not given. POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 MICHAEL GEBHART P.O. Box 677 Cooper Landing, AK 99572 Phone: Not given. POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 NANCY USERA, Commissioner Department of Administration P.O. Box 110200 Juneau, AK 99811 Phone: 465-5671 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 TIM BENINTENDI, Staff Representative Carl Moses Alaska State Capitol, Room 204 Juneau, AK 99811 Phone: 465-4451 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 394 on behalf of prime sponsor ART PETERSON Dillon & Findley, P.C. Uniform Law Commissioner National Conference of Commissioners for Uniform State Laws 350 N. Franklin Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 586-4000 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 394 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY Alaska State Legislature Alaska State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, AK 99811 Phone: 465-3719 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 436 MICHAEL L. MENGE, Director Environmental Quality Division Department of Environmental Conservation 410 Willoughby Ave. Ste. 105 Juneau, AK 99801-1795 Phone: 465-5260 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 436 TOM CHAPPEL, Coordinator Stationary Source Program 410 Willoughby Ave., Ste. 105 Juneau, AK 99801-1795 Phone: 465-5102 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 436 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 351 SHORT TITLE: PERMIT TO CARRY CONCEALED WEAPONS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES,Bunde,Olberg,Sanders JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/07/94 2019 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/10/94 2019 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2020 (H) STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY,FINANCE 01/12/94 2043 (H) COSPONSOR(S): SANDERS 01/22/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/22/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/12/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/12/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/24/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HJR 40 SHORT TITLE: RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) SANDERS,Olberg,Green,Kott JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/13/93 1178 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 04/13/93 1178 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 04/20/93 1387 (H) CORRECTION TO ORIGINAL SPONSORS: 04/20/93 1387 (H) SANDERS, OLBERG 04/22/93 1449 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 05/01/93 1641 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOTT 01/18/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/18/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/29/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/29/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/12/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/12/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/24/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 378 SHORT TITLE: REVISE OLDER ALASKANS COMMISSION SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/14/94 2072 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/14/94 2072 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, HES, FINANCE 01/14/94 2072 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM) 1/14/94 01/14/94 2073 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 02/24/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 394 SHORT TITLE: UNIFORM LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ACT UPDATE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/21/94 2125 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/21/94 2125 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE,STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 02/03/94 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/03/94 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 02/04/94 2252 (H) L&C RPT 5DP 2NR 02/04/94 2252 (H) DP:GREEN,WILLIAMS,SITTON,PORTER 02/04/94 2252 (H) DP: HUDSON 02/04/94 2252 (H) NR: MULDER, MACKIE 02/04/94 2252 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 2/4/94 02/04/94 2252 (H) REFERRED TO STATE AFFAIRS 02/24/94 2517 (H) STA RPT 5DP 1NR 02/24/94 2517 (H) DP:VEZEY,KOTT,G.DAVIS,ULMER, SANDERS 02/24/94 2517 (H) NR: OLBERG 02/24/94 2518 (H) -PREVIOUS ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 2/4/94 02/24/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 436 SHORT TITLE: STRICTNESS OF AIR QUALITY REGS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY,Sitton JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/04/94 2255 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/04/94 2255 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, RESOURCES 02/07/94 2291 (H) COSPONSOR(S): SITTON 02/24/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-18, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR AL VEZEY called the meeting to order at 8:01 a.m. REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS was present at the call to order; the rest of the members were expected shortly. CHAIR VEZEY stated version U of CSHB 351 would be open for discussion. CSHB 351: "An Act relating to permits for the carrying of a concealed weapon; relating to the authority of a court to prohibit persons convicted of certain misdemeanors from applying for, receiving, and possessing a permit to carry a concealed weapon; and relating to the possession of weapons." (REPRESENTATIVES OLBERG and KOTT joined the meeting at 8:04 a.m.) Number 045 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS asked a question regarding exemptions in CSHB 351. Number 058 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS stated that exemptions started on page 10, and it was his understanding that the statutes referenced on pages 15-19 are in reference to active police officers. (REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS joined the meeting at 8:05 a.m.) Number 067 CHAIR VEZEY replied AS 11.61.220 referred to persons in their home, persons engaged in hunting or fishing or otherwise allowed to carry a concealed weapon. He said page 10, paragraph (B), could be reread to clarify the other exemptions. Number 089 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS opted for the CSHB 351 subcommittee members to inform him if there was any discussion relating to retired police officers which may be rolled into the permit process. Number 098 CHAIR VEZEY believed CSHB 351 addressed retired police officers on page 7, line 14. He said a person who has completed a law enforcement firearms safety and training course meets the requirements of eligibility. Number 124 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS repeated there have been some concerns on this issue. Number 125 CHAIR VEZEY said he understood, and noted page 3, Section 3, line 3, where peace officers are automatically qualified to carry a concealed weapon and are exempt from the necessity of having a concealed weapon permit. When a peace officer retires, he stated, they are required to obtain a permit, but are qualified by virtue of their training. Number 159 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS stated that with the training peace officers have already had, they should perhaps have a less stringent permit process than other individuals without training. Number 166 CHAIR VEZEY stated peace officers would be prequalified, but they would have to pay a $50 initial fee and $25 every five years. He noted in Section 3, a provision of AS 11.61.220 which reads, "prohibitions of carrying a concealed weapon", does not apply to a peace officer. He stated the words, "acting within the scope and authority of the officer's employment," had been deleted so that peace officers may carry a concealed weapon off-duty or out of their jurisdiction. CHAIR VEZEY recognized REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, prime sponsor of CSHB 351, and asked her to join the committee table in REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS's seat. He said REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS would not be attending the meeting. CHAIR VEZEY stated CSHB 351 still did not have a fiscal note. The intent has been, by including the fee structure, to have CSHB 351 be revenue neutral. A fiscal note would have to be received before it could be transmitted to the Clerk's Office. (REPRESENTATIVE ULMER joined the meeting at 8:10 a.m.) Number 203 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES commended the committee for all of the hard work put into CSHB 351. She said she was pleased with the results. Number 218 REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG moved to adopt CSHB 351. He then made a motion to pass CSHB 351, with fiscal note, from committee with individual recommendations, asking for unanimous consent. Number 224 CHAIR VEZEY recognized the split motions and the committee secretary called the roll to adopt CSHB 351. The committee adopted CSHB 351. The committee secretary called the roll to pass CSHB 351 from committee. CHAIR VEZEY announced that CSHB 351 passed unanimously from committee with individual recommendations. CHAIR VEZEY allowed for teleconference sites to enter comments on CSHB 351, beginning with Delta Junction. Number 253 THOMAS THEISEN testified he was in favor of HB 351. Number 258 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Mat-Su teleconference site. Number 262 MARK CHRYSON, STATE REPRESENTATIVE GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, thanked the committee for passing CSHB 351. He asked if HJR 40 would be considered today. Number 268 CHAIR VEZEY responded that HJR 40 would be the next item on the agenda, and moved to the Kenny Lake teleconference site. Number 290 ROY BRITTAIN testified in favor of CSHB 351. He knew of two vicious attacks on elderly people in Fairbanks and felt carrying concealed weapons was imperative for elderly persons. MR. BRITTAIN said he had been approached twice while carrying night deposit bags and he believed carrying a concealed saved him from getting harmed. Number 306 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Cooper Landing teleconference site. Number 308 LYMAN NICHOLS thanked the committee for passing CSHB 351 and felt it was much needed. (REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS left the meeting at 8:15 a.m.) Number 319 MICHAEL GEBHART testified in favor of CSHB 351 and felt it would benefit the law enforcement in his community. HJR 40 - RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS Number 324 CHAIR VEZEY opened HJR 40 for discussion and asked the pleasure of the committee. Number 333 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT believed there had been numerous amounts of testimony on HJR 40 and moved to pass it out of committee with individual recommendations. Number 337 CHAIR VEZEY recognized REPRESENTATIVE KOTT's motion. The committee secretary called the roll, and HJR 40 passed from the House State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIR VEZEY notified committee members that their packets for each meeting would be available in their respective file drawers before each meeting. HB 378 - REVISE OLDER ALASKANS COMMISSION Number 360 CHAIR VEZEY opened HB 378 for discussion. Number 368 NANCY USERA, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, testified in favor of HB 378. She stated Governor Hickel has submitted a package of three bills to the legislature in an effort to strengthen the safety net and provide a better continuum of care for seniors in Alaska. She said HB 378 follows through on an administrative order, having gone into effect earlier in 1994, which merged the Division of Pioneer Benefits and the Division of the Older Alaskans Commission into one administrative division. MS. USERA explained that HB 378 establishes a more centralized delivery system for senior citizens and one point of entry for seniors into the system. A concern, expressed by seniors throughout the state, is that it can be very confusing trying to access available services because of the wide variety of divisions. MS. USERA said both the Older Alaskans Commission and the Division of Pioneer Home Advisory Board will remain virtually intact as they were before. The Older Alaskans Commission becomes the Alaska Commission on Aging, being more consistent with interfacing federal funding and actions in other states. MS. USERA stated HB 378 reduces the mandatory number of meetings for the Pioneer Home Advisory Board and the Commission on Aging because it is very difficult to get them to meet on a regular basis. MS. USERA said an interchange of information will be created by HB 378 when the chairman of one commission will be a member of the other board, and vice versa. MS. USERA noted that HB 378 provides a term limit whereby current members will be allowed to serve up to eight more years and then it transitions to staggered terms. MS. USERA noted the Pioneer Home Advisory Board is very supportive of term limits. MS. USERA said the chairperson of the pioneers' home board and the commissioner of Health & Social Services, Community and Regional Affairs administration, are made voting members of the Commission on Aging, rather than non-voting. MS. USERA said the governor will be empowered to appoint the chairman of each of the boards. She noted this provision is probably the only one out of all three bills with opposition to it. Both of the boards would prefer to elect their own chairman among the members because they feel they are better suited to determine who would be the best to perform chairmanship duties. MS. USERA explained the opposite view, whereby the Commission on Aging, "which has a statutory mandate to also be an advocate for those programs, to have a chairman personally appointed by the governor, it strengthens that board's access to the executive office and provides better conduit for advocacy." She felt it would be in the best interest of the boards to establish this relationship with the governor. MS. USERA noted HB 378 includes language to clarify the executive director of the commission carries out the policies and decisions of the board. MS. USERA said HB 378 allows the commission the flexibility to reduce, or waive, or match requirements for grantees, when the waiver is in the public's interest. MS. USERA introduced CONNIE SIPE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF SENIOR SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, AND FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OLDER ALASKANS COMMISSION, to offer her testimony to the committee. She stated the committee should have letters of support from both boards, the AARP, and other seniors organizations with regard to the governor's initiative. They are, however, opposed to the one provision which states the governor will appoint the chairman. Number 453 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS believed MS. USERA's explanation of Section 7, which states, "the governor shall designate the chairman of the commission", implied she wanted access easier for the governor, as opposed to easier for the commission. REP. DAVIS said he had been approached with this concern and the commission would be more comfortable choosing their own chairman. Number 468 MS. USERA responded that all of the appointees on the commission are appointees of the governor. She noted each person is appointed by the governor in any case. She and the people who have worked with boards and commissions have observed that when there is a close working relationship between the chairman of a commission and the governor's office, the issues before that commission raise the level of attention it gets. She stated her intention was to make sure senior's program issues maintain a high policy level profile. MS. USERA responded to REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS that Section 7 was not for the purpose of easing the relationship for the governor, it is to provide better advocacy and more policy consideration to senior's issues. Number 489 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS continued it was his understanding that HB 378 is merging two commissions; however, it still talks about the Pioneers' Home Advisory Board. He did not see where it was eliminated. Number 496 MS. USERA replied the two divisions are not merged. She said HB 378 maintains both boards separately, but houses them in a single division administratively. The Older Alaskans Commission has a name change and the Pioneers' Home Advisory Board stays virtually as it is. Number 501 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS questioned if they could be merged. Number 503 REPRESENTATIVE FRAN ULMER recollected Governor Hickel, when first elected, went through a proces of merging and eliminating commissions, and she thought the Older Alaskans Commission and the Pioneers' Home Advisory Board were slated for a merger. She then asked why they are not, and is it because their missions are so distinctly different. Number 509 MS. USERA responded that at one time the Older Alaskans Commission was banned from discussing anything that pertained to the Pioneers' Home Advisory Board. She said HB 378 would be a huge step in bringing senior's programs together and merging them. The primary function of the Pioneers' Home Advisory Board is to conduct annual reviews of the homes by interfacing with local councils and doing on sight reviews. Bonding the commissions administratively will create more consistent policies. The Department of Administration felt the pioneers still had a real need to have their own identification. Number 529 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER felt HB 378 was more housekeeping and administrative action, rather than a policy question. She asked what the senior citizen's perspective was of the difference HB 378 will make. CHAIR VEZEY interrupted and asked the teleconference operator to disconnect the teleconference if she could determine the source of the technical difficulties. Number 539 MS. USERA agreed HB 378 is primarily housekeeping. She said HB 378 is necessary to clean up the statutes as the result of the administrative order, which merged the two divisions. The adult protection functions and assistant living licensing will move into this division. Number 554 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER commented that the division would be "sort of like one stop shopping." Number 555 MS. USERA agreed. Number 556 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT inquired how the chairperson is selected presently for the two boards. Internally from the membership? Or is the governor determining the chairperson? Number 560 MS. USERA answered that the governor appoints the members of the commission and then the members elect their chairman among themselves. Number 561 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if this process was not working well. Number 562 MS. USERA said the question is not whether HB 378 would be fixing something that is "broken," rather it is a question of implanting something that may do a better job at providing policy development and focusing on senior's issues. The commissions need not just give advice to the administrators, but actually have a real role in developing policies affecting the senior constituency in Alaska. When her department looked at things to help senior's policy advance, having the governor designate the chairperson was one of the recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS clarified there had been opposition to this action. MS. USERA responded, not the seniors particularly, but the boards themselves prefer to elect their own chairman. REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG questioned if a provision making an all senior services needs base would be a simple addition to HB 378. MS. USERA answered no, it would be a simple addition. REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified it would be complicated. MS. USERA said it would be very complicated. REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG asked if it would be worth considering. Number 588 MS. USERA responded it would not be the intent of HB 378. Number 589 CHAIR VEZEY asked for further questions from the committee. Having no more questions from the committee, he stated it was not necessary for CONNIE SIPE testify. Number 595 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS recalled COMMISSIONER USERA to ask her another question. He asked how objectionable the Department of Administration would be if the committee allowed the commissions to elect their chair. Number 599 MS. USERA replied that the "governor certainly would not veto the bill if that were to occur." Number 602 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if there were any further witnesses to testify on HB 378. Number 605 CHAIR VEZEY said there were additional witnesses by teleconference; however, all teleconference sites had been disconnected. Number 606 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked what CHAIR VEZEY's intent was on HB 378 and if he intended to move it to Health & Social Services. Number 608 CHAIR VEZEY responded that HB 378 could be amended, held in committee, or passed on as is. He noted he had reviewed it and felt COMMISSIONER USERA had explained it well. Number 612 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to amend page 3, Section 7, with language to ensure the commission members would determine their own chairman. He could see the rationale to have the governor appoint the chair; however, a dominating chairperson may cause problems in the future. CHAIR VEZEY recognized the amendment and stated the amendment would probably be just to delete Section 7. He asked for the committee aide to hand him Title 44. CHAIR VEZEY stated the "current statute provides that the commission shall elect one of its members as chairperson, and may select other officers if considered necessary." He asked REPRESENTATIVE KOTT if deleting Section 7 would be his motion. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said deleting Section 7 would be the motion. Number 642 CHAIR VEZEY recognized the motion to delete Section 7. Number 643 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated Section 7 only deals with the Commission on Aging, not the chairmanship of the Pioneers' Home Advisory Board. Deleting Section 7 would only be half of the amendment. She suggested deleting subsection (c), line 17, on page 2. Number 659 CHAIR VEZEY noted the section would have to be reworded. Number 661 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER believed deleting subsection (c), line 17, on page 2, would be enough and the section could be left as is. Number 664 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated Amendment 1 one would be to delete line 17, Section 3, subsection (c), on page 2, and also Section 7, lines 11-13, on page 3. Number 670 CHAIR VEZEY recognized the motion to amend HB 378. The committee secretary called roll, and Amendment 1 passed by a simple majority. CHAIR VEZEY said he preferred to have the committee substitute before the committee before passing it out. Hearing no more questions or comments, HB 378 was held over in committee. CHAIR VEZEY called for a short recess at 8:47 a.m. TAPE 94-18, SIDE B Number 000 CHAIR VEZEY called the meeting back to order at 9:02 a.m. and opened discussion on HB 394. HB 394 - UNIFORM LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ACT UPDATE Number 018 TIM BENINTENDI, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES, Prime Sponsor of HB 394, presented the sponsor statement. He said HB 394 completes the upgrade of the Uniform Limited Partnership Act, Title 32, by adopting the recommended uniform rule of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law. He said HB 394 regards the form of registration or certification of limited partnerships. Section 1 reduces the amount of information which must be provided. MR. BENINTENDI stated the language currently on the books dates back to 1917 and needs to be upgraded; the bulk of Title 32 was upgraded in 1992. The legislature, at the time, adopted the National Conference's 1976 rewrite of Limited Partnership Law with amendments made to it from 1985. This process was done except the portion dealing with certification because of a conflict between the use of the long form, currently being used, or the short form. The sponsor of the bill did finally agree to the short form; however, it was too late to amend the bill. MR. BENINTENDI stated in 1993, HB 112 was submitted, which upgraded the certification requirements, passing both houses. At the end of session, however, Senator Steve Rieger amended HB 112 based on personal experience. Legal Services and House Rules determined the amendment would not hurt the bill, and HB 112 passed with the amendment. MR. BENINTENDI found out, over time, that the amendment would have caused problems. He referred to a letter from David Shaftel, dated January 10, 1994, which articulated the two main problems the amendment created. (A copy of this letter is on file.) First, he said, the amendment would have caused the elimination of some creditor protection benefits. Secondly, there would have been a denial of the state tax reduction for those limited partnerships that are formed to manage estates. He stated Mr. Shaftel reiterated support for the original HB 112 from the 1993 session and also the reintroduction of that bill in the 1994 session, HB 394. MR. BENINTENDI said HB 394 had been introduced to complete the upgrade of the Limited Partnership Act, without the Rieger amendment from 1993. He stated the House Labor & Commerce Committee has successfully passed HB 394 out of that committee. MR. BENINTENDI urged the passage of HB 394 from the House State Affairs Committee. He noted ART PETERSON, UNIFORM LAW COMMISSIONER, was also present to answer more technical questions from the committee. Number 125 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT questioned if MR. BENINTENDI had spoken with Senator Rieger to ensure he would not offer the same amendment again. Number 129 MR. BENINTENDI responded yes, Senator Rieger would not amend HB 394 again. In 1993, there had not been a problem until meeting with the Bar Association, which specifically deals with these issues, and they noted problems for their clients. MR. BENINTENDI noted that Senator Rieger does have concerns; however, he understands his amendment got beyond what he was hoping to do. He said Senator Rieger does support HB 394. Number 152 CHAIR VEZEY introduced ART PETERSON as the next person to testify. Number 158 ART PETERSON, DILLON & FINDLEY ATTORNEY, UNIFORM LAW COMMISSIONER, stated the members of the National Conference range from private practitioners, to government attorneys, judges, law professors, etc. He said HB 394 would complete the update of current law, which has not been altered since 1917. The main point of HB 394 is the simplification of what appears on the certificate of limited partnership. The partnership agreement and the certificate are the two significant documents in a limited partnership. The agreement creates the entity of the partnership, papers are filed, and the certificate is received. The current long form certificate requires information which is no longer feasible. When limited partnerships began, they were contemplated as a small entity with a limited number of people; a compromise between the corporation concept and the partnership concept. Corporation concept means all the share holders have a limited liability. Partnership concept means all the partners have general liability. Limited partnership combines both general partners, whose name is important to lenders and investors, and limited partners. The general partners will continue to appear on the certificate, but oftentimes thousands of limited partners who trade their shares daily will not be. MR. PETERSON stated there is no way all of these limited partners can possibly be transferred to the certificate. He said HB 394, Section 20, states the information will be located at partnership headquarters. For a foreign limited partnership, Section 18 requires the information. The only concern of the state in HB 394 would be the simplification of the amount of filings the state has to keep track of. He understood HB 112 passed overwhelmingly in 1993 by both Houses and the only reason for the veto by the governor was the addition of Senator Rieger's amendment. Because of the possibility the courts or the IRS might rule differently than the intent of HB 112, the practitioners who examined HB 112 felt the public may be disadvantaged by a bill which should provide a great deal of business benefit. The governor, therefore, vetoed HB 112 while still in favor of its' intent. The governor, executive branch, practicing attorneys throughout Alaska, and the Uniform Law Commissioners for Alaska all support HB 394. MR. PETERSON urged the committee to pass HB 394 from committee. Number 244 CHAIR VEZEY asked the full name of the National Conference. Number 248 MR. PETERSON answered the full name is the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). The NCCUSL produces universally accepted things, such as Uniform Commercial Code and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, both of which govern the law in all jurisdictions. Alaska has enacted 64 uniform acts. Number 257 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS responded that HB 394 sounded like a definite must. Number 263 CHAIR VEZEY reiterated MR. PETERSON was endorsing HB 394. He stated he had not received any negative comments on HB 394. CHAIR VEZEY asked if Alaskans had an advantage in having a limited partnership act in conformity with other states. Number 274 MR. PETERSON responded that Alaska would have an advantage. Alaska is currently under an antiquated system, even with the amendments, and not having the certification process upgraded puts Alaska behind. He stated, "outside money is not going to come into a state that has an antiquated system of such significance. Secondly, Alaskans who want to ... get the benefit of this form of business entity, will not be able to do so. They can go down to Seattle [and] create their limited partnership." He said HB 394 will promote activity in Alaska and the interstate exchange because partnerships, limited partnerships, and corporations do not live within single state boundaries. Number 288 CHAIR VEZEY clarified it was MR. PETERSON'S opinion that because of the state of Alaska's laws, the state has not had a lot of limited partnership formations or participation. Number 291 MR. PETERSON said he was not an expert, but he was sure the laws have been a deterrent. He felt HB 394 would benefit Alaskans substantially. Number 299 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified that HB 394 is exactly the same bill as HB 112, which passed unanimously on the House floor in 1993. Number 302 MR. PETERSON replied there are four changes, all of which are time changes. Number 303 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified there are no substantive policy changes. Number 305 MR. PETERSON said REPRESENTATIVE ULMER was correct. Number 306 CHAIR VEZEY understood there had been changes. Number 307 MR. PETERSON replied with examples of a few changes. The lead in lines are all different because the anticipated effective date of the comprehensive amendment, which read July 3, 1993, is now in the past. The effective date is now immediate. He repeated all the changes are related to the fact that the comprehensive revision has already taken effect, whereas in 1933 it was still in the future. CHAIR VEZEY asked if the committee had a motion. REPRESENTATIVE ULMER moved to pass HB 394 from committee with individual recommendations, asking unanimous consent. Number 331 CHAIR VEZEY recognized the motion and announced HB 394 had passed from the House State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIR VEZEY noted REPRESENTATIVES B. DAVIS and SANDERS were absent and all of the other committee members were concurring. HB 436 - STRICTNESS OF AIR QUALITY REGULATIONS CHAIR VEZEY announced himself as the sponsor of HB 436 and passed the gavel to VICE-CHAIRMAN KOTT. Number 341 VICE-CHAIRMAN KOTT accepted the gavel and asked REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY for his sponsor statement. Number 342 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY began an overview of HB 436. He said HB 436 states the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) may not set up air quality standards that are more strict than the federal standards. He felt HB 436 was a very important political policy decision. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY introduced HB 436 because if the state is going to impose more strict standards, it should be done through the legislature, and not through the Administrative Procedures Act. He pointed out the governor's task force on regulatory reform has made a "blanket recommendation in this same general area." Number 360 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if there was an imminent reason to believe standards will rise or if there has been an issue in REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY's district she was not aware of. Number 367 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he was not personally aware of the pending regulations, but he had heard talk of some considerations. Number 371 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG noted the DEC position paper (on file) references the Healy Clean Coal Project, Kenai Plant, and the Marine Terminal in Valdez. He understood the DEC paper to say that if it had not been for their ability to more strictly regulate air quality at the Healy Clean Coal Project, because the National Park Service thought they had veto power over the project, it may not have gone ahead. REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated the DEC wants to reserve a case by case ability to regulate air quality in a specific location, but he felt the legislature should have that ability and not the DEC. Number 384 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he did not mean to mislead REPRESENTATIVE ULMER because he was aware of the permitting process at the Healy Clean Coal Project. He had thought the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Park Service had the permit, not the DEC. Number 390 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG responded that the Park Service had no authority over the project, other than the Park is across the highway from the plant. The Park Service forced the air quality standards down so low that the plant is no longer allowed to emit visible smoke because it may destroy Denali National Park and a large portion of the Park Service's budget. Number 398 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated, after reading the DEC position paper, that one sentence leaped out at her stating, "Retaining authority to responsibly address pollution issues of local concern is at its center of states rights issue." She felt it was funny that HB 436 was saying, "if the feds make us do it, it's okay, but we can't do our own thing, or we don't trust DEC to have the flexibility to do their own thing even if it may result in economic development like the Healy Clean Coal Project moving forward more expeditiously." She felt the committee should have the DEC testify for the committee to show how the permitting process has worked. Number 411 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG felt the DEC ought to testify before the Resources Committee, noting today's meeting was not secret. Number 416 VICE-CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG was correct and, in looking over the witness register, he did not see anyone signed up to testify from the DEC. He noted two men from the DEC were in the audience and invited them to testify. Number 422 MIKE MENGE, DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY DIVISION, DEC, testified in opposition to HB 436 for two reasons. First, having the legislature create "regulatory hurdles" for the DEC was a concern; therefore, they have built a lot of checks and balances into legislation over the past two years. He said they have talked about the creation of a panel for review or public hearing. Administrative burdens have been placed in the pathway of the DEC, now and in the future, to act indiscriminately. Secondly, at times there is a great advantage to negotiate with a permit entity, being special interest groups, citizens groups, and state government, to create an acceptable package to meet all of their basic needs. With primacy, the EPA has the authority to overrule an action by the state. If the EPA is petitioned to set a standard for a particular area, the time it takes to complete the process is measured in years. He believed there is a great advantage to being able to negotiate with all the parties, whereby an acceptable decision for all parties may be made, rather than not involving or deferring the DEC from such action. Number 455 MR. MENGE stated that TOM CHAPPEL was present to testify for the committee. Number 457 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked, with regard to the Healy Clean Coal Project, how does the flexibility of current law enable the permitting process to go more quickly and how would HB 436, if adopted, slow it down? Number 463 MR. MENGE deferred REPRESENTATIVE ULMER's question to TOM CHAPPEL. Number 464 TOM CHAPPEL, PROJECT MANAGER, PERMITS PROGRAM, DEC, answered specifically that the Healy project wanted to expand by putting in a new high technology demonstration project. Current emission levels at the plant, however, were relatively close to meeting ambience standards. The addition of the new plant's pollution would, in summation, violate an ambient public health standard. The new plant would have been adjacent to the existing plant, not in the park area. MR. CHAPPEL noted a provision in HB 436 would have prevented the DEC from entering into an agreement where the existing emissions would have been cut back to counterbalance the new emissions; therefore, the total increase would still be within public health standards. The DEC is driven to maintain public health standards, and he recalled an application from Healy itself requested the cut back of the existing emissions to suit the standards. The Healy project had estimated the additional emissions when they developed the project. He stated this example was not driven by Park Service concerns. Number 489 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked MR. CHAPPEL to clarify how the flexibility of the interplay between the federal and state requirements made it easier for Healy to go forward. Number 499 MR. CHAPPEL replied ambient public health standards (APHS) set upper-level concentrations which people breath. The tool which guides whether a specific level is within or exceeding the standard is setting out-of-stack standards. The EPA will not allow the APHS to be exceeded. DEC can, however, set emission standards that are more stringent that federal emission standards. The emission standards of the new plant in Healy were set more stringent than federal emission standards. The DEC also changed the emission standard for the existing plant so the combination of both plants would stay below the federal and state APHS. REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG submitted public health was less of a driving force than aesthetics in the Healy project. He understood MR. CHAPPEL, but he thought the Park Service was a "big player" and questioned whether their concerns were not about public health, but aesthetics. MR. CHAPPEL responded that concerns generated from the Park Service were not about sulphur emissions, rather visible emissions. Federal law requires a high protection of existing good air quality, such as that in Denali National Park. Federal law sets stringent standards for pollution increases in those areas, of which there are few left in Alaska. The Park Service, or federal land manager, has a role, through the Clean Air Act, to review permits the state issues and has the ability to object, even though the state has primacy. (REPRESENTATIVE ULMER left the meeting at 9:20 a.m.) Number 540 MR. MENGE added that MR. CHAPPEL's example was a good illustration of how complex the interaction is for the state. He said Stack emission standards are an important tool for the state. Without them, mediation would have to take place in Seattle. He noted the process should not be so time-consuming so patience and money does not run out and the project does not go away. He felt the state could step in and react quickly. The Park Service may have been demanding, but the resolution was fast and it suited both parties. Number 556 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS interpreted that the Healy project as it relates to the wording in HB 436 is that the DEC worked on stronger emission standards than federal law so the ambient air quality would be within federal standards. He asked if he was correct. Number 563 MR. CHAPPEL said REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS was correct. Number 565 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified the Park Service's primary interest was in visible smoke. Number 567 MR. CHAPPEL responded yes, but also what pollution levels would pass within the park itself. The technical assessments were resolved in the beginning. Visible emissions are more difficult to estimate because the arguable factors are inexact and subjective. The DEC heavily debated what assessment tools would be the best with the Park Service. He felt the state had the advantage to decide and debate which tools would be used. Number 583 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated HB 436 only removes the final decision making authority of the DEC relating to the negotiation of standards more strict than EPA standards. Number 589 MR. CHAPPEL believed REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG's statement was the intent of HB 436. Number 592 MR. MENGE pointed out the Healy project is a good example of having all the parties involved satisfied with the end result. If the DEC was required to go to the legislature, there may be a significant impact because the issue of time may not be addressed. Number 599 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the Healy Clean Coal project had been in permitting process since 1988 or 1989. Number 603 MR. CHAPPEL responded that the project had been under the design phases since then; however, the DEC received a permit issue one and one-half to two years ago and the permit was issued in the March of 1993. The permit decision was appealed by the Parks Service, a settlement was found, and the process is in the final stages of a permit change now. The facility was lawful to build since March 1993. Usually a large process takes several years to complete the detailed engineering design and one to two years to complete the permitting design, depending upon the particular nature of the plant's emission and where it is located. Number 616 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY clarified it has been legal to build the Healy project since March 1993. He had the impression from sources at Usibelli Coal that they could start the project, but they knew they would get shut down. He also understood they did not believe they had a permit until very recently. Number 622 MR. CHAPPEL stated that once the permit is issued it is fully lawful to build the project. There is a 30 day time limit, after the permit is issued, so anyone can request an adjudicatory hearing on that permit. There was a request submitted by the Park Service and another public interest group inside Alaska. The project applicants were reluctant to build the plant until the appeal was resolved. He noted there was not an action preventing the partners in the project from beginning construction. In December 1993 the Park Service entered into an agreement, found fair by the DEC, with the project applicants and the DEC is now incorporating that into the permit. The permit should probably be out next month, although the public interest group has not yet released their appeal and the DEC is working on it. Number 644 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY felt he was technically correct, but asked him if he would put $200 million into a project under such litigation. Number 646 MR. MENGE responded, "Certainly not." The risk of having the permit challenged in court and having it reversed would be a strong deterrent. Once construction has begun, however, the departments and agencies signing onto the permits become "permit defenders" as opposed to "permit issuers." After the public interest group backs off the new permit, Healy and Golden Valley, he felt, will feel comfortable proceeding with the project. MR. MENGE stated more than half of the Environmental Quality Division's efforts throughout the state are in the defense of existing permits. (REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS returned to the meeting at 9:27 a.m. from another committee commitment.) Number 667 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he has heard the misconception that projects are legal to start many times, and they are, if one wants unduly to risk everything put into it. Number 672 MR. MENGE noted REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY's statement as a very crucial point and stated the DEC's records for water and air permits throughout the state is with the permittee and the outside groups to resolve the issues and allow the company to proceed forward. He felt more than half his job was in permit defense. Number 677 VICE-CHAIRMAN KOTT noted the times REPRESENTATIVE ULMER departed and REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS rejoined the committee. Number 684 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY moved that HB 436 be passed from committee with individual recommendations. Number 685 VICE-CHAIRMAN KOTT recognized the motion. Hearing no objection, HB 436 passed from the House State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Seeing no more business before the committee, VICE-CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the meeting at 9:32 a.m.