Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/05/1994 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 April 5, 1994 8:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Al Vezey, Chairman Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman Representative Bettye Davis Representative Gary Davis Representative Harley Olberg Representative Fran Ulmer MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Jerry Sanders COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 543: "An Act relating to unvented gas space heaters in residential buildings." HELD IN COMMITTEE SB 220: "An Act amending schedule IA of the schedules of controlled substances applicable to offenses relating to controlled substances to add the drug methcathinone, commonly identified as `cat.'" PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATIONS SB 303: "An Act relating to voter eligibility, voter registration, and voter registration agencies; and providing for an effective date." HELD IN COMMITTEE HB 342: "An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATIONS *HJR 63: Relating to the membership of the Republic of China on Taiwan in the United Nations. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATIONS HB 531: "An Act relating to the existence and functions of certain multimember state bodies, including boards, councils, commissions, associations, or authorities; and providing for an effective date." HELD IN COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER MEL KROGSENG P.O. Box 3913 Soldotna, AK 99669 Phone: Not given. POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 543 KEITH KETTLER, Marketing Director Tempco Fireplaces 2333 Judson St. Longmont, Colorado 80501 Phone: Not given. POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 543 SENATOR JOHNNY ELLIS Alaska State Legislature Alaska State Capitol, Room 9 Juneau, AK 99811-0460 Phone: 465-3704 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of CSSB 220 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, AK 99811-0300 Phone: 465-3428 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on CSSB 220 LAURA GLAISER, Administrative Code Coordinator Lieutenant Governor's Office P.O. Box 110015 Juneau, AK 99811 Phone: 465-4084 POSITION STATEMENT: Addressed SB 303 for the Lt. Governor's Office, Sponsor GEORGE SMITH, Deputy Director Libraries, Archives & Museums Department of Education P.O. Box 110571 Juneau, AK 99811-0571 Phone: 465-2910 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 531 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 543 SHORT TITLE: UNVENTED GAS HEATERS IN RESIDENTIAL BLDGS SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/19/92 (S) CRA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH RM 205 03/30/94 3074 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/30/94 3074 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 04/05/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: SB 220 SHORT TITLE: ADD "CAT" TO SCHEDULE IIA DRUG LIST SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) ELLIS,Little; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Navarre JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/03/94 2451 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 1/4/93 01/10/94 2451 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2451 (S) STA, JUD 02/09/94 (S) STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH RM 205 02/09/94 (S) MINUTE(STA) 02/14/94 2824 (S) STA RPT CS 3DP NEW TITLE 02/14/94 2824 (S) ZERO FNS TO SB & CS PUBLISHED (DPS, LAW) 03/14/94 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 03/15/94 3212 (S) JUD RPT 5DP (STA)CS 03/15/94 3212 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FNS (DPS, LAW) 03/18/94 (S) RLS AT 00:00 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 03/18/94 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/24/94 3344 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/24/94 03/24/94 3347 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/24/94 3348 (S) STA CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/24/94 3348 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/24/94 3348 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 220(STA) 03/24/94 3348 (S) PASSED Y16 N- E1 A3 03/24/94 3353 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/25/94 2959 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/25/94 2959 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 03/25/94 2985 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): NAVARRE 04/05/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: SB 303 SHORT TITLE: UNIFORM VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/11/94 2792 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/11/94 2792 (S) STA, JUD, FIN 02/11/94 2792 (S) FNS PUBLISHED (DPS, GOV, DHSS-3, DCRA) 02/11/94 2792 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE PUBLISHED (DOE) 02/11/94 2793 (S) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 03/02/94 3027 (S) STA RPT 4NR 03/02/94 3027 (S) ZERO FN PUBLISHED (REV) 03/02/94 3027 (S) PREVIOUS FNS (DPS, GOV,DHSS-3, DCRA) 03/02/94 3027 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (DOE) 03/02/94 3038 (S) JUD REFERRAL WAIVED Y11 N9 02/22/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/02/94 (S) STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH RM 205 03/02/94 (S) MINUTE(STA) 03/15/94 3212 (S) FIN RPT 1DP 1DNP 5NR 03/15/94 3212 (S) PREVIOUS FNS (DPS, GOV, DHSS-3, DCRA) 03/15/94 3212 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FNS (DOE, DOR) 03/15/94 (S) FIN AT 08:30 AM SENATE FIN 518 03/18/94 (S) RLS AT 00:00 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 03/18/94 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/28/94 3373 (S) RULES RPT 1CAL 2NR 3/28/94 03/28/94 3375 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/28/94 3376 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/28/94 3376 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SB 303 03/28/94 3376 (S) PASSED Y11 N8 E1 03/28/94 3376 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE PASSED Y19 N- E1 03/28/94 3377 (S) MILLER NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 03/30/94 3415 (S) RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP 03/30/94 3416 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/31/94 3102 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/31/94 3103 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 04/05/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 342 SHORT TITLE: EXTEND TOURISM MARKETING COUNCIL SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT,Hudson,Ulmer JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/03/94 2017 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/10/94 2017 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2017 (H) L&C, STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 01/20/94 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 01/20/94 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 01/21/94 2122 (H) L&C RPT 6DP 01/21/94 2122 (H) DP: MACKIE, HUDSON, WILLIAMS, SITTON, 01/21/94 2122 (H) DP: PORTER, GREEN 01/21/94 2122 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 1/21/94 03/12/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/12/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 04/05/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HJR 63 SHORT TITLE: U.N. MEMBERSHIP REPUBLIC OF CHINA/TAIWAN SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/31/94 3105 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/31/94 3105 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 04/05/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 531 SHORT TITLE: ELIMINATE SOME STATE MULTIMEMBER BODIES SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/11/94 2728 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/11/94 2728 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 03/11/94 2728 (H) -7 ZERO FNS (DCRA,2-DCED,CORR, 2-DOE 03/11/94 2728 (H) DNR) 3/11/94 03/11/94 2729 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 03/29/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/29/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/31/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-43, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY called the meeting to order at 8:03 a.m. Members present were REPRESENTATIVES G. DAVIS, OLBERG, B. DAVIS and ULMER. A quorum was present. The meeting is on teleconference with Anchorage, Fairbanks and Sitka; with offnet locations in Portland, Oregon and Arlington, Virginia. HB 543 - UNVENTED GAS HEATERS IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened HB 543 for discussion. Number 027 MEL KROGSENG testified on her own behalf on HB 543. She stated HB 543 was introduced because it was learned that unvented heaters, which were once permitted, are now banned. The 1991 Mechanical Code is now the standards basis for heaters. MS. KROGSENG stated the oxygen depletion system which came about 14 years ago is now being put on unvented heaters, thereby making them a much safer product. She noted legislation is being introduced and implemented across the United States to allow the installation of unvented heaters that have passed tests for certain standards. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) developed the standards. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Commission they are a much safer product than vented heaters. This is primarily because the vents on vented heaters are frequently improperly installed and maintained; therefore, unvented heaters are much safer. She stated HB 543 would be good for the people of Alaska because the heaters are about 98 percent efficient and there would be less propane to haul for those who regularly do. Unvented heaters are much more cost effective because heat is not lost as it would be with a vented system. CHAIRMAN VEZEY brought to the committee's attention a memorandum dated May 18, 1983, from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). He recognized unvented heaters were not a revolutionary new technology. The memo points out, in 1979, there were an estimated 130 deaths out of an estimated 3.25 million vented heaters in use. In 1979, there were 40 deaths out of an estimated 5.25 million unvented heaters in use. He stated these facts imply that unvented heaters that meet the ANSI standards are safer than vented heaters. CHAIRMAN VEZEY moved to the Portland offnet teleconference site. KEITH KETTLER, MARKETING DIRECTOR, TEMPCO FIREPLACES, supported HB 543. He began Tempco manufactures vent free gas appliances. He stated vent free heaters are manufactured throughout the U.S. The unvented heaters come from an established industry and they have been manufactured with the oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) since 1981. He noted since 1981, 2.6 million vent free appliances equipped with the ODS have been sold in the U.S. The ODS is a requirement of ANSI which they are tested under. Based on data from the CPSC, since 1981, there has never been a documented carbon monoxide related fatality from a vent free appliance with an ODS. He noted the vent free gas heaters manufactured in the U.S. before 1981 were not equipped with the ODS. He stated, "The ODS has done to the gas industry, what circuit breakers have done to electrical safety in our homes." He expressed CPSC determined the risk carbon monoxide poisoning is six times higher from vented appliances, than from vent free. Tempco does, however, also manufacture vented appliances. MR. KETTLER referred the ANSI Z2111.2 standard which unvented heaters are tested under. The American Gas Association tests all of the products in accordance with this standard. He stated the standard is written by organizations such as the Consumers Union, International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials, underwriters labs, National Fire Protection Association, United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, National Safety Council, etc... He emphasized the standard was not written by the industry. MR. KETTLER stated 2.6 million vent free heaters have now sold in the U.S., and they are selling at a rate of about 300,000 a year. Every building code in the U.S., except the one used in Alaska, allows vent free appliances. He added when he was in Alaska in the fall of 1993, he met with building officials in Anchorage, Kenai and Palmer. Based on this trip, these officials have provided him with letters that specifically allow unvented heaters as an exception to the Uniform Mechanical Code which they adopted. Number 221 CHAIRMAN VEZEY questioned if unvented heaters were specifically prohibited in the Uniform Mechanical Code. MR. KETTLER answered yes, Section 807(c) of the Uniform Mechanical Code. He noted the building officials used Section 105, referred to as the alternate materials clause, that allows them to approve alternate materials that deem to be equivalent based on suitability, effectiveness, fire resistance and safety. Number 243 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if HB 543 addresses unvented heaters only in residential buildings. MR. KETTLER affirmed CHAIRMAN VEZEY. Sanitariums, hospitals, hotels, dormitories and institutional settings are not included. Only residences. Number 253 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated he believed HB 543 was modifying the Uniform Plumbing Code because fuel gas piping is considered plumbing. MR. KETTLER clarified he believed fuel gas piping refers to the gas pipe that brings the gas from the meter or another appliance, to the fireplace. He stated the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) particularly addresses vent free heaters. Number 270 CHAIRMAN VEZEY looked up the definition of a plumbing system under the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). He noted it includes fuel gas piping, water heaters and vents. He could not find where it states the appliance. Number 282 MR. KETTLER explained the UMC, Section 807(c), refers to vent free heaters not being allowed in residential occupancies. He referred to the UPC and stated, it is used by many regions where the UMC is also used. The UPC is written by the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). IAPMO is a member of the ANSI committee that writes the standard for vent free heaters as proposed under HB 543. He believed Alaska adopted a good building code that has not progressed with science and technology. Being from Colorado which applies the same uniform codes, they have been doing "truckloads" of vent free fireplaces and heaters as an exception to the code based on their performance record. He explained there is no science or history to support the continued ban of an appliance which is the most efficient and safe option on the market today. Number 307 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated his questions were more directed towards the statutes because HB 543 dealt with a more complex area. He stated the intent is to amend the state plumbing standards to provide that unvented gas space heaters are allowed in residential buildings. He questioned whether HB 543 was amending the correct statute. Number 321 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS inquired if the ODS was in the piping or in the furnace itself. CHAIRMAN VEZEY answered the ODS is in the furnace itself. Number 329 REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG pointed out on page 1, subparagraph 2, "state building code" means, (A) is building standards, (B) is mechanical standards, (C) is plumbing standards and (D) is electrical standards. He stated HB 543 is altering (C) by adding a new subsection, Section 2, which allows vent free heaters. Number 336 CHAIRMAN VEZEY agreed. He wondered why HB 543 was trying to modify the UPC, if they were actually trying to modify the UMC. CHAIRMAN VEZEY, due to the questions about which code should be modified, decided HB 543 would be HELD IN COMMITTEE until Thursday. He noted amending the UPC was fine, but the UMC in another statute, would also need to be amended. Number 353 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG asked why the Department of Public Safety (DPS) would adopt the UMC. Number 356 CHAIRMAN VEZEY answered the DPS administers all of the Uniform Fire Code/Building Code standards. CSSB 220 - ADD "CAT" TO SCHEDULE IIA DRUG LIST CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened CSSB 220 for discussion. Number 368 SENATOR JOHNNY ELLIS, SPONSOR, addressed CSSB 220. He said, CSSB 220 proposes to criminalize, by adding to the Schedule IA of the list of controlled substances, a relatively new designer drug known as methcathinone. The street name is "CAT." He said he was shocked when he read police reports from Michigan and Wisconsin about the trouble experienced with CAT. He noted the designer drug bill passed 3-4 years ago did not cover methcathinone. He emphasized CAT is becoming a problem in the United States. SENATOR ELLIS explained "KHOT" is a drug indigenous people in Somalia have used in religious ceremonies and as a recreational drug for hundreds, if not thousands of years. He noted there was concern that some of the younger troops of the American military might be using KHOT during the Somalia operation. SENATOR ELLIS stated CAT can be made in a lab very easily from over the counter substances, like Drano and battery acid. The recipe is relatively simple, likewise the procedure. CAT is the illegal drug of choice in the former Soviet Union. Police reports indicate CAT is now becoming a problem in the Seattle area. Therefore, he expressed concern that CAT is anywhere from a day to a year, from being a problem in Alaska, especially since our laws are not up to date on this subject. SENATOR ELLIS explained CAT is more addictive than heroine and more powerful than cocaine. He stated in previous committees there has been no discussion of CAT not being an appropriate drug for criminalization. He urged action on HB 543 as it has received very strong support from the Administration in previous hearings. Linda Adams, from Alaskans for Drug Free Youth, has testified in previous committees. A Juneau police officer, presently unavailable, also testified. SENATOR ELLIS stated the passage of CSHB 220 is very important because the demographics for CAT in Alaska are "just perfect." He was disappointed that Alaska had not imposed stricter penalties for the use of crack cocaine sooner than it did when it saw the problem arising. He stated he would hate for Alaska to make the same mistake twice. Number 428 CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired if SENATOR ELLIS mentioned CAT as a naturally occurring substance. SENATOR ELLIS responded KHOT naturally occurred in Africa, however, methcathinone is the manufactured equivalent. Number 435 CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired how easy would CAT be to make in Alaska. SENATOR ELLIS answered very easy, because methcathinone has a simple recipe. CAT does not come from a plant. Number 453 CHAIRMAN VEZEY questioned the technical spelling of CAT on line 6. Number 460 REPRESENTATIVE FRAN ULMER directed CHAIRMAN VEZEY to the article from Drug Abuse Update which shows the same spelling. Number 463 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified he questioned the derivative spelling, whereby he believed the second word should be spelled "phenylpropanal" instead of "phenylpropan." Number 470 SENATOR ELLIS stated MARGOT KNUTH had spoken with the people at the lab because there had been questions as to the spelling. He noted corrections were made, therefore a committee substitute was prepared. Number 474 CHAIRMAN VEZEY commented methcathinone was a very complex chemical and he could foresee if CSHB 220 was passed into law, a person being exonerated because the description was incorrect. Number 477 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG pointed out in the packet under enrolled HB 4103, which he assumed was a U.S. statute, the word in question was spelled the same way. "Methylamino-1- phenylpropan-1-one." Number 489 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated he believed the copy of the article was of poor quality. He told SENATOR ELLIS he would take his word for it. He noticed the enrollment of HB 4103 was from the State of Michigan. He asked if it was against federal law to distribute CAT. SENATOR ELLIS answered he believed it was. Number 512 MARGOT KNUTH, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, answered questions on CSSB 220. She answered it is against federal law to distribute CAT. CSSB 220 is patterned after the Schedule I federal list, and would be on Schedule IA in Alaska. The specific name of CAT is copied after the federal schedule list. She would follow up on CHAIRMAN VEZEY's concern. Number 522 CHAIRMAN VEZEY agreed there was plenty of time to check the spelling. He inquired if being on the controlled substance list, CAT would carry the same penalties under federal law as heroine, etc... MS. KNUTH replied correct. Number 527 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the advantage of making CAT a violation of state law. Number 529 MS. KNUTH answered if the offense takes place within Alaska, the state is expected to deal with it. The federal government only becomes involved with importations and matters of crossing state boundaries. If CAT was not dealt with in state law, Alaska will not have any control. Number 534 CHAIRMAN VEZEY commented the feds do not care if Alaska uses it or not. They only care if it is imported. MS. KNUTH responded the federal governments' enforcement jurisdiction with cocaine, for example, is a violation of federal law. However, at a local level, Alaska does not have federal prosecutions for possession or distribution unless there is a certain quantity, whereby they get involved. She stated there are multiple layers of governmental enforcement when controlled substances are involved. Number 544 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS moved to move CSHB 220 from committee with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note. CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the committee secretary to call the roll. IN FAVOR: REPRESENTATIVES VEZEY, ULMER, B. DAVIS, G. DAVIS, OLBERG. ABSENT: REPRESENTATIVES KOTT, SANDERS. MOTION PASSED CHAIRMAN VEZEY called for a recess at 8:40 a.m. The meeting resumed at 8:46 a.m. SB 303 - UNIFORM VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened SB 303 for discussion. He stated SB 303 is sponsored by the House Rules Committee, by request of the governor. Number 565 LAURA GLAISER, ADMINISTRATIVE CODE COORDINATOR, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, addressed SB 303. Number 566 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) only applies to federal elections. He clarified the administration does not want to maintain a two tier voter registration system. MS. GLAISER affirmed CHAIRMAN VEZEY. Number 576 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the penalties for failure to comply with the NVRA. MS. GLAISER directed CHAIRMAN VEZEY to the attorney general's opinion in the packet. She quoted, "The United States Department of Justice and various interest groups have indicated an intent to vigorously pursue all available legal remedies if the state fails to implement the Act to their satisfaction." She added Alaska has been threatened with a lawsuit by the Department of Justice. She stated because Alaska is a voting rights act state, [we] believe it will be a "red flag" if Alaska does not turn in its change of laws to bring itself into compliance. They will look for Alaska's changes. Number 587 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked, if they sued Alaska, what would be the outcome. Number 588 MS. GLAISER replied the concern of the Administration and she believed REPRESENTATIVE ULMER as well, is that our chances for being successful in court were not very good. If in fact the state does lose, they were concerned the federal courts would ask for the implementation laws much more stringent. MS. GLAISER commented Alaska has met the spirit of the NVRA, and they believe with an 80 percent voter registration within Alaska that we are already doing a good job. She believed Alaska's election laws are clean, but a few changes need to be made. SB 303 makes those simple changes to bring Alaska into compliance with the NVRA. Number 597 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified if the government were to take Alaska to court the only area they could address would be voting in federal elections. Number 600 MS. GLAISER said correct. Number 601 CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired why other agencies were not asked to submit a fiscal note on SB 303. MS. GLAISER responded it was very clear in SB 303 as to which agencies would be named; therefore, those agencies that knew they would not be named felt no reason to submit a fiscal note. Number 608 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked what all the fiscal notes added up to. MS. GLAISER answered $149,400. Number 612 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified $149,400 was per year with escalation. He asked what the penalty would be for violating the NVRA. Number 613 MS. GLAISER responded, in discussions with Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission, they only explained the lawsuit and how they force Alaska into compliance. Each letter of the NVRA would have to be met. She could not answer as to what the cost to Alaska would be. Number 618 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked for a sectional analysis. Number 620 MS. GLAISER stated Section 2 is to comply with Section 5(d), NVRA, which "requires states to allow a change of address form for a driver's license to serve as a change of address form for voter registration." People are now allowed to notify the director, in writing, of a change of voting residence. Number 630 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated from his interpretation, if the address is changed on a driver's license, then the Division of Elections would get that information and change the address on the voter registration. MS. GLAISER replied correct, but in addition, rather than filling out a complete voter registration application, only notification by writing is required. Number 639 CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired if this was the section requiring that a change of driver's license address serve as a change of address for voter registration. MS. GLAISER answered in this particular section, no. Number 645 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked what information would be required on the letter sent in. MS. GLAISER responded the previous address and the new address. She clarified because the NVRA the state can no longer require witnessing or an affidavit. Executing an affidavit on a form provided is removed from law. She noted this law already needs to be corrected because the language to "execute an affidavit" is incorrect. The state requires witnessing. Number 654 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked for the definition of affidavit MS. GLAISER was using. MS. GLAISER answered an affidavit is that which is described in Section 9 of statute. She was not familiar with the legal definition. MS. GLAISER outlined Section 3. The summary states, "People convicted of felonies involving moral turpitude under state or federal law may not vote in state, federal, or municipal elections." Current statute provides for cancellation of voter registration for persons convicted of felonies only under state law. With SB 303, Alaska will be noticed through the federal courts of those people convicted of felonies in federal court so they can also be removed. Currently, a person serving time for a federal felony could vote absentee because the state does not have records of federal felons. Number 668 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if she knew of any of those instances happening. MS. GLAISER responded, no. Section 4 permits voter registration by mail by adding the language "or through a voter registration agency." Number 680 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified this change would mean the state would not know whether that person exists or not. MS. GLAISER replied correct, if the registration comes through the mail. REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated the registration did not have to be notarized or witnessed. MS. GLAISER replied correct, witnessing or formal authentication can no longer be required. TAPE 94-43, SIDE B Number 010 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified anyone could send in their voter registration by mail and be registered. Identification at the polls would be required. MS. GLAISER said that was correct. Number 021 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG interjected unless the person voted absentee. He stated the committee designated this section the "Chicago provision" last time it was discussed. Number 032 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked to go work through the internal process the Division of Elections has, or will have, that might quell concerns people have about the "Chicago provision." She asked if there were cross checks done possibly with the permanent fund dividend list or social security numbers. Number 050 MS. GLAISER stated signatures are verified on an absentee ballot and regulations will have to be implemented to provide further checks. She emphasized if someone is willing to register dead people, they will find two witnesses to do it presently. The current voter registration form only asks that the witnesses sign their name. She noted there is no request to print the name underneath, or state a social security number. With current practice, there is no way to verify the witnesses are true and real. She stated the crime is to sign your name falsely. The witnesses are not committing a crime. MS. GLAISER continued the sectional analysis with Section 5. Section 5 "designates the following state agencies as voter registration agencies: 1) Division of Motor Vehicles 2) Division of Health & Social Services that provide public assistance through the food stamp program, Medicaid, Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) program. 3) Community & Regional Affairs/Division of Municipal and Regional Assistance 4) All recruitment offices of the Armed Forces of the United States located in Alaska 5) State-funded agencies that primarily provide services to persons with disabilities 6) Other agencies that may include: other state and local agencies, federal and nongovernmental with agreement from offices" MS. GLAISER noted the only addition to the federal law was the addition of Community & Regional Affairs. This was suggested because other states are being required to have bilingual voter registration forms. Therefore, since Alaska's language differences are oral and not written, they felt people could be helped who may have oral difficulties in registering to vote and having their questions answered. MS. GLAISER addressed Section 6. Section 6 "removes reference to consideration by the director of elections of witnessing of an application for voter registration by mail in determining the validity of applications from certain residents of single-precinct municipalities or established villages." Technical change. She noted many registrations are now sent back simply because someone fails to get a witness. Number 149 CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired if witnessing was interpreted as a form of notarization. MS. GLAISER answered no, the phrase is "or other formal authentication." Witnessing is defined as formal authentication. MS. GLAISER continued with Section 7. Section 7 allows the director to adopt regulations to implement the requirements of the NVRA. The storing of confidential reports that are taken in voter registration agencies will be defined through the regulatory process. She noted (b), in registering by mail, adds "voter registration agencies" to those who will furnish forms at no cost to the voter. Number 187 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified his interpretation as NVRA requires for federal elections that the state force voter registration forms on individuals, and not ask. MS. GLAISER responded the registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles must be simultaneous, therefore a form will be filled out for voter registration at the same time the form for the driver's license will be. If that person chooses to not sign the voter registration form it is considered a declination. In other agencies such as C&RA, a formal declination voter registration will have to be signed. This response is kept confidential. Number 208 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked how the information would be transferred to the Division of Elections (DOE). MS. GLAISER answered electronically. Number 211 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if the DMV database would be tied into the DOE database. MS. GLAISER said, yes. CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated currently DMV is very restrictive on access to its database. He asked if DMV records would become readily accessible public record. Number 219 MS. GLAISER answered the information transferred to the DOE is only theirs, and the records will only be as accessible as they are now. Number 225 CHAIRMAN VEZEY questioned if all the software and transmission facilities were going to be engineered for $90,000, as shown on the fiscal note. Number 233 MS. GLAISER responded she was not familiar with the negotiations between the DMV and DOE; however, they have worked very hard to help come into compliance. She could not account for the cost. Number 241 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified the other agencies will have a paper form. Procedure not electronic. MS. GLAISER affirmed CHAIRMAN VEZEY. The cost of the forms is provided through the DOE. Number 247 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER submitted the information DOE and DMV needs is already similar. She felt the process would not be too complicated. Number 254 MS. GLAISER pointed out some states already have this split screen ability. These states were present at the forum she attended and they stated the process was very simple. MS. GLAISER addressed Section 8. Section 8 includes voting after change of name, registration and amendment or transfer of registration. Section 8 removes the language [for failure to vote in prior elections], the voter shall re- register and the registration is effective for the next election that occurs at least [may not be made later than] 30 days after registration [preceding an election]. This change brings the state into compliance with Section 8(b)(2) of the NVRA. Number 280 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified there will be no purging of records due to failure to vote. Number 282 MS. GLAISER corrected there will be; however, the DOE will notice a person. For example, if a person registered to vote January 2, 1990, the person would be sent a purge notice in January 1992 if he/she had not voted. The person must then have respond within ninety days; failure to do so would inactivate them. She noted there would have been a primary, general and possibly a municipal election before the 1992 purge notice. Once a person is inactivated he/she is still in the master computer system, but no longer on the precinct list. The person remains there until 1995, at which time they are dropped. Number 297 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified there is five years. He had thought three. Number 300 MS. GLAISER stated the first purge notice would ask the person to respond before the next primary. Any effort to participate as a voter of the state would bring an inactive person to the current list. If the person does not respond to the fist notice, he/she will not be dropped from the master list until after the second general election, 1997. This suits NVRA. Number 335 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified the drop year would now be 1997 instead of 1995, leaving the person on either the precinct or master list for seven years. He questioned if federal law requires a seven year purge system. Number 339 MS. GLAISER directed to the definition of "general" and "primary." She affirmed CHAIRMAN VEZEY. Number 343 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified at the of six years, if this person signs a petition, they would be on the list for 13 years. MS. GLAISER replied correct. The process repeats. Number 349 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified if they went to a polling place they would not be on the registration list. MS. GLAISER affirmed CHAIRMAN VEZEY. Number 352 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated they would vote a question ballot. Number 353 MS. GLAISER said correct. She noted the other concern in the NVRA was the "fail safe" program. Alaska is ahead because it has question ballots, whereby those not on a precinct list are still counted because they are on a master list. MS. GLAISER addressed Section 9. Section 9 changes the negative connotations in current law regarding the word "cancelled." The language added, voters whose registration are not inactive and all voters whose names are required to be placed on the list by AS 15.07.070(c) and (d). She noted the language in current statute gives a cutoff date for when DOE is supposed to be adding names. Therefore, if DOE receives applications now, they can add them to the list up until the computer time frame cuts off for printing. DOE would now be able to add names a lot longer. She explained the 30 day cutoff was increasing the chance for question ballots. MS. GLAISER stated Section 10 deals with voter list maintenance. Section 10 explains the inactive list due to lack of voting. She noted the change with 30 days and calendar years is to make the language consistent. Paragraph (c), Section 10, substitutes bureau for [office] of vital statistics. Paragraph (d), Section 10, describes the notice that will be sent as defined in NVRA, Section 8(d)(2). She pointed out the seven year process is gained through Section 10(d)(3) of SB 303. MS. GLAISER stated Section 11 adds the director is responsible for the coordination of state responsibilities under 42 U.S.C. 1993 (National Voter Registration Act of 1993.) The director will be responsible for the reporting required by the Federal Election Commission, coordination of the statistics available through H&SS and DMV. MS. GLAISER stated Section 12 is changed to read, (b) A person whose registration is inactive [has been cancelled] and who votes a questioned or absentee ballot shall have either ballot counted if... Number 427 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked why "cancelled" needed to be changed to "inactive." A person who is cancelled cannot vote. Number 430 MS. GLAISER replied correct. The people who are inactive are on the master list; therefore a question ballot can be checked against it. They used to be dropped. Number 432 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified being inactive, does not mean they have already been cancelled. Number 434 MS. GLAISER agreed. The law is being changed because NVRA says the state cannot just cancel due to lack of voting. This pertains to voters not on an official registration list. Number 441 CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired what would happen to people whose registration has been cancelled. Would they vote also? MS. GLAISER answered, no. The person has to be registered to vote for the two most recent general elections, which would move them back on the list and they would only be inactive. Number 457 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked what happens to those who are cancelled. He clarified a person would not stay on the voter registration list in perpetuity. MS. GLAISER agreed, however, she was not familiar with the whole section so she could not answer the question. MS. GLAISER stated Section 13 defines the voter registration agency as an agency designated in or under AS 15.07.055. MS. GLAISER stated Section 14 adds the division of motor vehicles shall serve as a voter registration agency to the extent required by state and federal law, including the NVRA and there will be simultaneous application for voter registration and driver's licenses, identifications, and registrations. MS. GLAISER stated Section 15 defines those sections within H&SS that shall comply with the NVRA. MS. GLAISER stated Section 16 states C&RA will act as a voter registration agency and will receive applications. MS. GLAISER stated Section 17 allows the director of DOE to proceed to adopt regulations to implement to the changes in the NVRA. Number 491 CHAIRMAN VEZEY noticed SB 303 has an immediate effective date. He questioned the two-thirds vote from both houses. He inquired how the Senate voted. MS. GLAISER answered the Senate voted unanimous for the effective date. Number 499 CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired about the possibility of a dual system. He stated Alaska's current registration system is legal by all standards for state electives. He commented if Alaska were to adopt the South Dakota standard for federal elections it would eliminate $140,000 a year in expenses. MS. GLAISER responded the NVRA said Alaska had to be in compliance before it was signed into law by the President. Therefore, we could not go back and make changes and then be in compliance. She stated the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice were very clear that any changes made now would not be viewed as bringing Alaska into compliance. A state is exempted only if its law was in effect continuously on and after March 11. CHAIRMAN VEZEY commented Alaska was trying to get exempt. REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified CHAIRMAN VEZEY's question for MS. GLAISER. He questioned why the South Dakota system cannot be used for federal elections only. Number 526 MS. GLAISER answered Alaska would have to implement a dual system, whereby Alaska could require witnessing, but it would still have to come into compliance with NVRA. It would require two registration forms to be signed and a two different databases. Number 531 CHAIRMAN VEZEY commented the extreme example of a dual system would be the existing state system with a totally wide open federal elections systems, such as that in South Dakota. Anyone who goes into a poll can vote in a federal election. He asked if this would bring Alaska into compliance. MS. GLAISER answered no, because South Dakota had its system in place before March 11. Changing Alaska's state law for a federal election does not meet the intent of the NVRA. Number 537 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified there were certain types of procedures that had to previously been in place, such as the South Dakota system. She added there probably is a way to structure a dual system, not using South Dakota. She questioned if this would not be much more expensive than SB 303 proposes. She felt a dual system would be much more time consuming and complex. Number 550 MS. GLAISER agreed. A dual system could be set up, but it would mean an increase to the current $242,000 contract with Department of Administration which maintains only one system. The registration program would have to be redone for an estimated cost of $300,000 to $400,000. She emphasized no state in the union is setting up a dual system because of cost and confusion to voters. Other states need to make greater changes than Alaska does. Number 567 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated, from his interpretation, NVRA mandates there be a registration system to meet its standards. MS. GLAISER replied if the state had no registration system prior to March 11, 1993, the state would be exempt. Being able to simply walk into a poll and vote, it does not hinder a person from registering to vote. Some states' voter registration systems do hinder people to vote; therefore, NVRA tries to make it very simple to register to vote. No structure is already simple. Number 584 CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified the system cannot be opened. MS. GLAISER replied, from the Department of Justice, correct. (REPRESENTATIVE KOTT joined the meeting at 9:34 a.m.) Number 588 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG interjected opening the system is exactly what SB 303 is doing. SB 303 is changing Alaska's system which did not exist prior to March 11, 1993. He believed MS. GLAISER was saying that Alaska cannot just let anyone who comes to the polls vote. Number 593 MS. GLAISER responded this was the direction from the Department of Justice. She explained they cannot promise the passage of SB 303 would be enough or that they will not still take the state to court. She could not guarantee that changing to the South Dakota system now would prevent the state from being sued. The option was to implement the changes provided for in SB 303. Number 603 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated he would like to hear more about a possible dual system to avoid spending an extra $140,000 a year. He noted if Alaska allowed anyone to vote in a federal election, he did not see how it could be in violation of a law, in terms of restricting a person's right to vote. Number 609 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG clarified there was no guarantee the proposed changes by SB 303 would suit the Department of Justice. MS. GLAISER answered correct. With the most stringent interpretation of NVRA they could still find something wrong. She believed the spirit of NVRA would be met by SB 303, and with its passage, Alaska would have a case because it registers through the permanent fund dividend program, it has 80 percent registration, and there was very high turn out in 1992. The Department of Justice would not review the draft of SB 303. Number 620 CHAIRMAN VEZEY said to REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG that Alaska is one of the federal government requires pre-clearance of voter laws. SB 303 could not be implemented until it was cleared by the Department of Justice. Number 624 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER noted that Section 4 of the NVRA in the packets, clarifies who it does not apply to. She stated NVRA does not apply to states that did not have a registration system before March 11, 1993. She emphasized there was no provision that says if a state that later makes those changes would be exempt. Therefore, that is why the Department of Justice could not answer Alaska's questions. She noted NVRA gives the states until January 1, 1995, to comply. MS. GLAISER commented she would try to get more information for Thursday. CHAIRMAN VEZEY held SB 303 in committee. HB 342 - EXTEND TOURISM MARKETING COUNCIL CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened HB 342. He noticed HB 342 passed from the Labor & Commerce Committee with unanimous do pass recommendations. He stated there had been considerable testimony in 1993 on a similar bill. He noted HB 342 would extend the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council until December 30, 1998. Number 658 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER moved to pass HB 342 from committee with individual recommendations, asking unanimous consent. Number 664 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the committee secretary to call the roll. IN FAVOR: REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY, KOTT, ULMER, B. DAVIS, G. DAVIS, OLBERG. ABSENT: REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS. MOTION PASSED HJR 63 - UNITED NATIONS MEMBERSHIP FOR THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA/TAIWAN CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened HJR 63 for discussion. Number 674 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT commented his wife from Taiwan, had meant to join the committee to testify. He conveyed for her that HJR 63 was a very good idea and they should be readmitted. He believed they have proven themselves politically and economically. They would be providing themselves as an example to other nations as to what to do, rather than what not to do. He stated they are recognized as a powerhouse. Number 686 CHAIRMAN VEZEY pointed out HJR 63 states they are the 20 largest economy in the world. Number 691 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER added, when she was mayor of Juneau, she had the opportunity to visit Taiwan as part of a group. She was very well treated and impressed by the schools, health care facilities, art and industry. She noted they had a very positive attitude toward the United States and they wanted to develop a positive relationship. TAPE 94-44, SIDE A Number 002 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to pass HJR 63 from committee with individual recommendations with attached zero fiscal note, asking unanimous consent. Number 005 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the committee secretary to call the roll. IN FAVOR: REPRESENTATIVES VEZEY, KOTT, ULMER, B. DAVIS, G. DAVIS, OLBERG. ABSENT: REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS. MOTION PASSED HB 531 - ELIMINATE SOME MULTIMEMBER BODIES CHAIRMAN VEZEY, under bills previously heard, opened HB 531 for discussion. He noted the committee had received the committee substitute which incorporates the amendment put forth by REPRESENTATIVE ULMER. The amendment provides, "Artifacts, natural history specimens, art objects, collections or other items, materials, or properties that relate to the history of Alaska and are appropriate for preservation in the state museum of a value of $5,000 [$1,000] or more, may not be acquired by purchase, gift or exchange,...without the written approval of the committee." He repeated from the last meeting that he had suggested $10,000. Number 079 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated he thought HB 531 was deciding whether or not the committee would exist. CHAIRMAN VEZEY replied that was in the original HB 531. The committee adopted this amendment on Thursday. Number 097 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER clarified other than changing the threshold from $1,000 to $5,000, reducing the amount of questions that had to be presented to the committee, the amendment stated the committee would never have to have a face to face meeting. The meetings may be by teleconference, thereby saving the travel expense. The amendment clarifies the committee reviews "acquisitions and deaccessions," as opposed to every general thing. CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted there had been debate as to whether the correct word to use was "disposition" or "deaccession." Number 126 GEORGE SMITH, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES & MUSEUMS, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, answered questions on HB 531. He clarified the correct wording would be "deaccessioning," meaning to withdraw an artifact or other piece of art, from a collection in a formal matter. CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated that copies of the committee substitute would be distributed to committee members for discussion on Thursday. HB 531 was HELD IN COMMITTEE. Number 160 ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN VEZEY, hearing no more business before the committee, adjourned the meeting at 9:55 a.m.