Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/09/1995 08:05 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HOUSE STANDING COMMITTEE ON STATE AFFAIRS                           
                        February 9, 1995                                       
                           8:05 a.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Jeannette James                                                
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Joe Green                                                      
 Representative Ivan                                                           
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Ed Willis                                                      
 Representative Scott Ogan                                                     
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 HB 32:"An Act relating to administrative proceedings involving               
            a determination of eligibility for a permanent fund                
            dividend or authority to claim a dividend on behalf of             
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
 HB 44:"An Act providing that a political use is not an                       
 authorized use of charitable gaming proceeds; prohibiting                     
 the contribution of charitable gaming proceeds to                             
 candidates for certain public offices, their campaign                         
 organizations, or to political groups; providing that a                       
 political group is not a qualified organization for                           
 purposes of charitable gaming; relating to what is a                          
 qualified organization for the purpose of charitable                          
 gaming permitting; and providing for an effective date."                      
           HEARD AND HELD                                                      
 * HB 38:"An Act relating to criminal sentencing; relating to the             
 availability for good time credit for offenders convicted                     
 of certain first degree murders; relating to mandatory                        
 life imprisonment, parole, good time credit, pardon,                          
 commutation  of sentence, modification or reduction of                        
 sentence, reprieve, furlough, and service of sentence at                      
 a correctional restitution center for offenders with at                       
 least three serious felony convictions; and amending                          
 Alaska Rule of Criminal Procedure 35."                                        
           PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
 HB 106:"An Act relating to art in public places requirements and             
 the art in public places fund."                                               
           PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
 HJR 20:Relating to unfunded federal mandates and the Conference              
 of the States.                                                                
           SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                             
 * HB 30:"An Act relating to a dress code for public schools."                
           SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                             
 * HB 132:"An Act repealing the ability of persons seeking an                 
 elective state executive office or a state or national                        
 legislative office to petition for inclusion of their                         
 names on the state general election ballot; requiring                         
 candidates of all political groups for a state or                             
 national legislative office to compete at the state                           
 primary election for the placement on the general                             
 election ballot of the name of the one candidate from                         
 each political group that receives the greatest number of                     
 votes cast; and requiring candidates of all political                         
 groups for state executive office to compete at the state                     
 primary election for the placement on the general                             
 election ballot of the name of the one candidate for                          
 governor from each political group that receives the                          
 greatest number of votes cast and the name of the one                         
 candidate for lieutenant governor from the same political                     
 group that receives the greatest number of votes cast."                       
 SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                     
 * HB 90:"An Act changing the date that the legislature convenes              
 in the years following a gubernatorial election."                             
 SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                     
 HJR 4:Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of               
 Alaska authorizing the use of the initiative to amend the                     
 Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                          
 SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                     
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 MELINDA GRUENING, Legislative Assistant                                       
 Representative Joe Green                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 24                                                        
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone: 465-4931                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement for HB 32                     
 TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Assistant                                           
 Representative Terry Martin                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 502                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone: 465-3783                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement for HB 44                     
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 108                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone: 465-4843                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement for HB 38                     
 MARGARET BERCK, Attorney                                                      
 Alaska American Civil Liberties Union                                         
 227 7th Street                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone: 586-3309                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 38                                            
 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant to the Commissioner                          
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 240 Main Street, Suite 700                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone: 465-4640                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 38                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY                                                       
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 219                                                       
 Telephone: 465-3719                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement for HB 106                    
 TIM WILSON, Executive Director                                                
 Alaska State Council on the Arts                                              
 411 W. 4th Ave. Suite IE                                                      
 Anchorage, Alaska, 99501                                                      
 Telephone: 269-6610                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 106                                           
 NATALIE ROTHAUS, Executive Director                                           
 Juneau Arts Council                                                           
 P.O. Box 20562                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99802                                                          
 Telephone: 586-2787                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 106                                           
 CHARLES ROHRBACHER, Artist                                                    
 109 Troy Street                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone: 586-9774                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 106                                           
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB  32                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: PFD ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS                                   
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN                                           
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        29    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        29    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        29    (H)   STA, JUD, FIN                                     
 02/07/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HB  44                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Rokeberg,Porter,Bunde                    
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        32    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        32    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        32    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 01/19/95        90    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BUNDE                               
 01/26/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/26/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/07/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HB  38                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE,Toohey                                    
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        30    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        30    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        30    (H)   STA, JUD, FIN                                     
 01/20/95       105    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY                              
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HB 106                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY                                           
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/20/95       102    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/20/95       102    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                            
 02/07/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HJR 20                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: CONFERENCE OF THE STATES                                         
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BARNES,Grussendorf,Foster,Mulder                
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/23/95       115    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/23/95       115    (H)   WTR, STA                                          
 01/31/95              (H)   WTR AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 408                       
 01/31/95              (H)   MINUTE(WTR)                                       
 02/01/95       195    (H)   WTR RPT  6DP                                      
 02/01/95       195    (H)   DP: PHILLIPS, WILLIAMS, KUBINA                    
 02/01/95       195    (H)   DP: G.DAVIS, MULDER, BARNES                       
 02/01/95       195    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (LAA) 2/1/95                          
 02/01/95       195    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 2/1/95                     
 02/07/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HB  30                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL DRESS CODES                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS                                         
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        28    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        28    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        28    (H)   STA, HES                                          
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HB 132                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: CANDIDATES FOR STATEWIDE BALLOT                                  
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MACKIE,Phillips                                 
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/27/95       157    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/27/95       158    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                            
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HB  90                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS, Foster, MacLean, Mackie,               
 Nicholia, Elton, Finkelstein, Robinson, Davies, Kubina, James,                
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/17/95        51    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/17/95        52    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 01/27/95       163    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): FOSTER, MACLEAN                     
 01/30/95       180    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): MACKIE, NICHOLIA                    
 01/30/95       180    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ELTON, FINKELSTEIN                  
 02/01/95       210    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROBINSON, DAVIES                    
 02/01/95       210    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA, JAMES                       
 02/03/95       242    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY                              
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 BILL:  HJR  4                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Rokeberg                                 
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        17    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        17    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        17    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 01/26/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/26/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/07/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-12, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 000                                                                    
 The meeting of the House State Affairs Standing Committee was                 
 called to order by Chair Jeannette James at 8:05 a.m.  Members                
 present at the call to order were Representatives James, Ogan,                
 Willis, Robinson, Ivan, Porter, and Green.  No members were absent.           
 CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES announced there was a quorum present and a              
 full audience.  She stated the first item on the agenda was HB 32             
 continued from the last meeting.  She called for Melinda Gruening             
 to testify on behalf of the sponsor.                                          
 HSTA - 02/09/95                                                               
 HB 32 - PFD ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS                                      
 MELINDA GRUENING, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe                 
 Green, announced that she would be speaking on the changes                    
 incorporated in the proposed committee substitute for HB 32.  These           
 changes would address concerns expressed by members of the                    
 committee about how a person would be determined indigent for                 
 purposes of having the proposed permanent fund appeal fee waived.             
 She mentioned that the committee had copies of a memo, which                  
 contained wording defining "indigent" for the purposes of fee                 
 waiver.  She said permanent fund administrators indicated that the            
 criteria for determining indigency needed to be simple,                       
 nonsubjective and easily verifiable.  She said she researched                 
 several agencies to determine how they determined indigency for               
 purposes of fee waver.  She said she had talked to the public                 
 defenders office, the hunting licensing people, and limited entry             
 people to see how they qualified people for reduced fees or fee               
 waiver.  She said the solution that seemed to be the most workable            
 was to use the federal poverty guidelines.  These guidelines are              
 published once a year by the U.S. Department of Health and Social             
 Services and the figures are used by a variety of federal agencies            
 and the court system.  She explained that the applicants income can           
 be easily verified by a copy of the first page of their previous              
 years tax return.  She stated the federal poverty guidelines are              
 adjusted annually for inflation proofing and they do have a                   
 separate chart in the guidelines for Alaska to take into account              
 the higher cost of living.  She said other than the new subsection            
 (2), the bill was completely unchanged.                                       
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any questions of the sponsor.                  
 Number 065                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked if Ms. Gruening could tell the                
 committee exactly what the guidelines would be.                               
 MS. GRUENING replied that a copy of these guidelines were enclosed            
 in their packets.  She said the enclosed copy was for 1994.  She              
 said the new copies for 1995 come out next week in mid-February.              
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any other questions or comments.              
 As there were none, she called for a motion with regard to this               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER moved to pass the proposed amendment to           
 HB 32, as described in the memo dated February 9, 1995, signed by             
 Representative Joe Green, adding Section 2 to HB 32.                          
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none, the            
 amendment passed.  She asked if there was a motion to pass this               
 bill out of committee.                                                        
 Number 100                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON moved to pass the committee                     
 substitute for HB 32 out of committee with individual                         
 recommendations as amended.                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated he wished all of the bills had a                 
 negative fiscal note like HB 32, except that they applied to the              
 general fund and not the permanent fund.                                      
 CHAIR JAMES stated the bill needed to be passed with the attached             
 fiscal notes.  She asked if there were any objections.  As there              
 were none, the bill passed.  She announced the next item on the               
 agenda was HB 44.  She mentioned there was a representative speaker           
 from Representative Martin's office, the bill's sponsor.                      
 HSTA - 02/09/95                                                               
 HB 44 - GAMING PROCEEDS/ DEFINE CHARITABLE ORG'NS                           
 Number 119                                                                    
 TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Assistant to Representative Terry Martin,           
 stated he was there to speak on HB 44 as a representative of                  
 Representative Terry Martin.  He said he wanted to pass out copies            
 of an information sheet that referenced portions of the bill.  He             
 said this was the Internal Revenue Service's 501C listing of tax              
 exempt nonprofit corporations.  He mentioned there was debate at              
 the previous meeting concerning Representative Martin's intention             
 of excluding all other categories of IRS nonprofits on this list,             
 other than the 501C3 category.  This is the category covering                 
 religious, educational, charitable, literary and several groups.              
 He mentioned that Representative Willis had expressed concerns                
 about excluding unions from being able to obtain gaming permits.              
 It was Representative Martin's preference to include only those               
 groups listed under the 501C3 category.  He had also expanded his             
 bill to allow 501C10 organizations, 501C19 groups, and possibly the           
 category of 501C23.  Thus, Representative Martin was willing to               
 include an amendment to include these additional categories, but              
 would prefer to not expand beyond these groups.  He said the intent           
 of this bill was to try to get politics out of "charitable gaming."           
 They were also trying to analyze who can get gaming permits and who           
 can't.  Representative Martin felt that if the idea was to try to             
 support charitable organizations, why should a union be allowed to            
 have a permit or cemetery companies?  He thought it was better to             
 specify those types of organizations considered a charity.                    
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any questions or comments for the             
 Number 189                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she had at the last meeting, asked if            
 raffles were included in this bill.  She said she was told that               
 they weren't, and then when she talked to Legal, they informed her            
 that raffles were included.  She stated she did not know what was             
 wrong with political groups doing a raffle.  She argued that people           
 who participate in a raffle know what they are buying and who they            
 are supporting.                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON agreed that raffles were presently included in the               
 bill, but this could be amended if this was the wish of the                   
 committee.  He said when they drafted the bill, that they were                
 trying to focus on the gaming idea, and realized later that they              
 had included things such as raffles.                                          
 Number 206                                                                    
 CHAIR JAMES asked if this bill would preclude these people from               
 having gaming permits, or if they were just saying they could not             
 use the proceeds for political purposes.                                      
 MR. ANDERSON said the way the bill was written presently, it said             
 that these people could not have gaming permits.  This bill says no           
 one can have them except 501C3 organizations.  The bill is                    
 excluding a lot of groups as a result of a miscommunication with              
 Legal Services.  He stated they were proposing to include the other           
 listed 501 categories and would consider exempting raffles.  He               
 further stated they were trying to make the bill more definitive by           
 saying that just bingo and pull-tabs would be included.  He said              
 they were actually attempting to do two different things with this            
 bill, to prevent gaming proceeds from going to political groups and           
 to define who should qualify for a charitable gaming permit.                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated this was why she felt the committee            
 didn't have all of the information.  She said she still did not               
 know all of the groups that would be affected by this bill.  She              
 said she thought it was a mistake to include attempts to exclude              
 political groups from the proceeds of charitable gaming and                   
 attempts to define who should have a gaming permit in the same                
 bill.  She said it seemed that in some ways we had politics                   
 involved in this bill, instead of really looking at the issue at              
 hand.  She further stated that at the last meeting it was mentioned           
 that individuals did not know who they were supporting with gaming            
 proceeds, when last year a law was passed that required vendors to            
 post a sign saying who the proceeds were going to, and so this was            
 not true.  She said she was still trying to figure out where they             
 were trying to go with this bill.                                             
 Number 247                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he thought this was a reasonable effort            
 to try and get gaming proceeds out of politics, without an entire             
 election reform bill.  He said he thought that what this bill                 
 needed was for the committee to come to a conclusion on who it is             
 they want to have the ability to have permits for bingo and                   
 pull-tabs, the most favored type of gambling in Alaska.  He                   
 mentioned he was under the impression that raffles were not                   
 included in this bill and that could be fixed very easily.  He                
 stated the reason the committee should consider trying to limit the           
 types of organizations that can participate in charitable gaming is           
 that the Act was originally intended to support charitable                    
 organizations only.  This was why, he said, it was called                     
 charitable gaming and not credit union gaming or union gaming.  He            
 stated the problem with saying that everyone could have a gaming              
 permit, but just to not allow the proceeds to go into politics, is            
 the accounting nightmare of trying to figure out which proceeds               
 came from gaming and where they were spent, as opposed to where               
 their other revenues were spent.  He thought it would be much                 
 simpler to only expend the resources necessary to insure that                 
 gaming proceeds go to charities, as originally intended, rather               
 than expecting the Division of Gaming to try and audit where the              
 proceeds from gaming were being spent.                                        
 Number 287                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN was concerned that this bill was too broad and            
 was excluding organizations in his area that were intended for                
 charitable purposes.                                                          
 CHAIR JAMES said she wanted to assign this bill to a subcommittee             
 to work out the details.  She asked for Representatives Porter,               
 Ivan, and Robinson to sit on this committee and to work this bill             
 with Representative Martin's office.  She also asked that they                
 contact Representative Gene Therriault's office, as he had                    
 submitted a similar bill.  She asked Representative Porter to chair           
 the subcommittee.                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if in the subcommittee there would be           
 greater leeway for interpretation of this bill.  She didn't know if           
 it was better for the sponsor to do this, but she wanted to know              
 the fiscal impact of this bill for the state.  She thought there              
 were a lot of groups that were going to be affected by this bill,             
 that were not necessarily 501C3 organizations, but could be                   
 considered charitable groups.  Thus, she wanted a clear list of all           
 organizations that would be affected by this bill.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he could alleviate any concerns about              
 the fiscal impact of this bill.  He said the Division of Gaming               
 brings in about $1.4 million and spends about $350,000.                       
 MR. ANDERSON reiterated that the idea of this bill was to limit who           
 would be eligible for a gaming permit and to ban all political                
 activities and groups from benefitting from the proceeds of                   
 charitable gaming.  He said they had program receipts and                     
 documentation, which they had not yet presented to the committee,             
 that backed up how much money was going to political organizations.           
 CHAIR JAMES stated she thought the goal of this exercise was to               
 eliminate any gaming or gambling from being used for political                
 Number 335                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked if the mission of the subcommittee             
 was to study not just who owns the permit, but who the operators              
 were.  He was concerned that with inflated operating costs, there             
 might still be a large sum of revenue from gaming diverted to                 
 political purposes.                                                           
 CHAIR JAMES said she thought every cent that came into a permit as            
 a result of selling or collecting from this activity, that none of            
 these funds should be allowed to go to supporting political                   
 activities.  She said it should not matter whether the funds came             
 from the owner of the permit or the operator, as she understood the           
 intent of the bill sponsor.                                                   
 Number 360                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wanted to point out that this bill could              
 affect organizations who only had gaming money available for                  
 funding political education and advocacy activities.  She                     
 emphasized that she thought the intent of this bill was to insure             
 that gaming proceeds did not go to support political candidates;              
 not necessarily to prevent a citizens group from raising revenue              
 and then be able to educate the legislature on issues that were               
 important to them.  Now she thinks that she is hearing otherwise.             
 CHAIR JAMES answered she thought the intent was to limit gaming               
 proceeds from being used for advocacy.  She said the idea behind              
 this was that these groups should raise their own funds, without              
 depending on a gimmick to trick people into giving them the money,            
 to support something they may or may not consent to.  She said to             
 allow that, was to allow these organizations to, in effect, prey on           
 the people. She stated that because there was extensive                       
 conversation needed on this bill, she would prefer they hold any              
 other discussion until they heard the report of the subcommittee.             
 She also asked that the subcommittee keep her informed of the                 
 schedule of their meetings, as she wanted to participate.  She also           
 urged the subcommittee to speak to their peers, so they could try             
 and get a well rounded bill coming out of committee.                          
 Number 386                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS stated this bill just seemed to be getting           
 broader and broader.  He said he was wondering, that because the              
 Governor had just appointed a commission to study the gaming issue,           
 if it might not be better for the subcommittee to work with this              
 commission or possibly wait for their recommendations.  He said not           
 only was there this bill, but also several other gambling issues              
 before the legislature this session.  He thought maybe the                    
 Governor's commission should study all of these issues and come               
 back with a recommendation.                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES said she could understand his concerns, but his very              
 own testimony spelled out the underlying problem, which was that              
 the legislature had allowed charitable gaming in this state and               
 that proceeds from this activity were supporting political causes.            
 She felt this was the underlying problem and how they decided to              
 fix it, was the decision of this legislature.  She said they could            
 not wait for the commission to find a solution because there had              
 been a lot of commissions and their advice was not always followed.           
 Thus, she thought that to wait for their decision could be a long             
 process, which might not amount to anything, and she would just               
 prefer to keep this bill moving through the process.                          
 MR. ANDERSON added that in Representative Martin's view, that                 
 commission was extremely deficient in its whole representation of             
 the gaming industry, in that it was made up almost entirely of                
 gaming operators and had little representation from the charitable            
 organizations.  He said the commission was very lopsided.                     
 CHAIR JAMES stated she felt there was no reason to belabor the                
 issue now until they heard the recommendations of the subcommittee.           
 She requested Representative Porter to chair the subcommittee.  She           
 said they would be moving down the agenda to HB 38, as the sponsors           
 for the other two bills had not yet arrived.  She called for                  
 Representative Con Bunde to come up and testify as the bill                   
 HSTA - 02/09/95                                                               
 HB 38 - SENTENCING; 3RD SERIOUS FELONY OFFENDER                              
 Number 438                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE stated he and his aide had worked on this            
 issue for the past three years and he had a sponsor statement that            
 he would pass out to the committee.                                           
 WALT WILCOX, Committee Aide for State Affairs, announced that the             
 public defender was on teleconference from Anchorage and asked her            
 to identify herself.                                                          
 BARBARA BRINK announced that she was the Deputy Public Defender in            
 Anchorage.  She asked if she would have the opportunity to make any           
 MR. WILCOX verified that she would.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that HB 38 provided for a mandatory               
 99-year sentence for a specific group of offenders, who have two              
 separate prior Class A or unclassified felony convictions.  He said           
 it was called popularly the "Three Strikes" bill, but that had such           
 negative connotations in other states, whose bills were not as                
 carefully drafted, that he would prefer to call it the habitual               
 offender bill.  Under this proposed legislation, discretionary                
 parole and good time sentence reductions are not available to                 
 offenders who are sentenced to a 99-year term.  However, HB 38 does           
 allow the court to reduce a sentence after 50 years have been                 
 served, the rationale being that someone that is in for a third               
 felony conviction is probably in their thirties or forties, and by            
 the time they are sixty or seventy years old, they are probably no            
 longer a threat to society.  They become very expensive for the               
 state to house and it is frankly good business to allow them to               
 petition to be released at the Governor's discretion.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE explained that this bill also includes some              
 prosecutorial discretion and flexibility, so that either normal               
 presumptive sentencing can take place, or in a case of weak                   
 circumstantial evidence, we can avoid the kinds of things that we             
 hear about, where someone is a lifetime career criminal and then              
 they steal a piece of pizza and are locked up for life as their               
 third offense.  He mentioned that he knew there were costs                    
 associated with incarcerating someone for 99 years, but this bill             
 was crafted to keep that cost to a minimum.  He thought it would              
 actually save the state money in the long run.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE argued that strong punishment does help to               
 shape behavior and deter crime, and that although it was certainly            
 a goal of the state to rehabilitate people, that some who have                
 proven with a lifetime of crime, that they were beyond or incapable           
 of being rehabilitated.  He said there was little left for the                
 legislature to do, except to protect society from these predators             
 who continue to create more victims.  He claimed research has shown           
 that the recidivism rate is 65 to 70 percent and it appears that              
 only 5 to 6 people a year would fall under the effect of this                 
 legislation.  He said there is not a large population of these                
 types of criminals, but there is a significant core of these types            
 of predators.  He said these offenders are taking up costly time in           
 the judicial system, to say nothing of the costs to their victims.            
 He felt that if the revolving door of justice was stopped, these              
 types of crimes would decrease.  He said we had too many repeat               
 offenders, depending on the goodwill of the people of Alaska.  He             
 said that HB 38 would make Alaska a safer place.                              
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked to read a few things into the record               
 from the packets that the committee had received from a group                 
 called Crime Strike, a division of the National Rifle Association.            
 He said he wanted to emphasize that Alaska was not immune to the              
 crime wave spreading across our nation, that a woman was raped                
 every 15 hours, someone was robbed every 13 hours, and that in                
 fact, a violent crime was committed in Alaska every 2 hours and 15            
 minutes.  He added they suggested that passage of this bill would             
 help to alleviate the effects of crime on the citizens of Alaska by           
 locking up these incorrigible criminals for life.  He further                 
 stated that repeat offenders are a serious threat to public safety,           
 according to the National Center for Policy Analysis, the average             
 criminal commits between 187-287 crimes per year.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said with the passage of this bill, the threat           
 to the public will be substantially reduced by taking these repeat            
 offenders off the street.  He pointed out an accompanying chart               
 which showed that when Alaska's level of incarceration went up, its           
 level of crime went down.  He pointed to California as a state that           
 had experience with this type of legislation, and showed statistics           
 which documented that their rate of violent crime went down 7                 
 percent in the first 6 months their bill was in effect.  Homicides            
 and robbery were both down 11 percent.  He said that the National             
 Center for Policy Analysis reported that it costs taxpayers about             
 $25,000 a year to incarcerate criminals, a nationwide average that            
 Alaska does not achieve unless we send our prisoners outside.  He             
 said if the criminal was out on the street committing 187-287                 
 crimes a year, the average cost to society was about $2,300 per               
 crime.  Added together, one career criminal could cost Alaska                 
 $430,000 annually.  He stated California has figured that their               
 "Three Strikes" legislation has saved taxpayers $29.5 billion over            
 5 years.  He said he would be willing to answer any questions.                
 CHAIR JAMES stated she noticed that in fiscal year 1996, there was            
 a note of almost $5 million in contractual fees that doesn't show             
 up afterwards.  She also noticed the fiscal note showed that this             
 bill would put an additional 202 prisoners in jail over a period of           
 time.  She asked if Representative Bunde could explain the fiscal             
 note and its accuracy.                                                        
 Number 571                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated he had some serious disagreements with            
 the attached fiscal note for HB 38.  He said he would point out               
 that they are dramatically larger than the fiscal notes received              
 last year on the same bill.  He thought the logic behind this                 
 fiscal note had its problems.  He stated he would ask the committee           
 to focus on the philosophy of this bill, as he was still gathering            
 information to refute this fiscal note.  He said he would like the            
 opportunity to do that in the Finance Committee.  He mentioned that           
 he thought the large fiscal note may stem from those who are                  
 philosophically opposed to this bill, or there may be some errors             
 in calculation.  He said that as he pointed out, there should only            
 be 3 to 5 people incarcerated each year, and there should be zero             
 fiscal impact for the next 10-12 years, because if someone is                 
 convicted under this bill, as it would be their third felony                  
 conviction, they would be incarcerated for that long under current            
 statute.  He thought there were some weaknesses in the calculations           
 for this current fiscal note, and he would like to argue that point           
 after he had finished gathering his information.                              
 Number 585                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated he was appalled that so few people are            
 responsible for so many crimes.  He questioned if the recidivism              
 statistics showed that after someone was caught twice committing a            
 crime, if they became more clever, and so committed a                         
 proportionately larger number of crimes before being caught the               
 third time.  He said he was concerned there might be a larger                 
 number of people out there with two convictions on their record,              
 who might be close to getting convicted under this bill.  He stated           
 though, he thought this was a good use of general funds, because as           
 a criminal got more experienced, he figured they committed many               
 more crimes before getting caught the third time.  Thus, he figured           
 the cuts to crime will actually be better than the statistics                 
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE agreed, saying he found it appalling that the            
 average criminal commits 200 crimes a year.  He commented that                
 equalled almost one crime a day and that was rather busy.  He said            
 he could alleviate any concerns that there was this huge population           
 of criminals that would be impacted by this legislation, and                  
 pointed out that only unclassified and Class A felonies would fall            
 under this bill.  To give an example, he said the type of criminal            
 that would be affected by this would be first-degree murderers,               
 kidnappers, first-degree sexual assault cases, first-degree sexual            
 abuse of a minor, and similar cases.                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if there wasn't a different mind set               
 between the hardened criminal who would commit these types of                 
 crimes, and the smaller petty criminal, such as the petty thief.              
 Number 628                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated he had spent a good part of his life             
 trying to figure that out and came to the conclusion that all of              
 them are different.                                                           
 CHAIR JAMES asked Barbara Brink, the public defender, if she had              
 any comments or questions.                                                    
 Number 635                                                                    
 BARBARA BRINK, Public Defender testified via teleconference from              
 Anchorage and said she had been a public defender in Alaska for 13            
 years and wanted to share her perspective as to how this bill would           
 affect them.  She said this bill would cause increased litigation             
 for the public defender's office in three ways:  1) An individual             
 charged with a third felony, will more likely exercise their right            
 to trial, as opposed to pleading out; 2) she said there would have            
 to be a more extensive look at the two prior convictions to make              
 sure that they are constitutionally valid; and 3) a person charged            
 with a conviction will be more likely to take their case to trial             
 instead of pleading out, as they will not want even the first                 
 conviction on their record for fear that it will count towards                
 their allowed total of three convictions.  She argued that today,             
 94 percent of their felony cases do not go to trial, but are                  
 pleaded out short of trial.  She feared that with this bill, the              
 existing system would collapse on itself because of the increased             
 workload.  She said there was dispute as to how many cases this               
 bill would affect.  She stated the Criminal Justice Working Group,            
 made up of representatives from all of the criminal justice                   
 agencies, believed that prosecution of 10-30 defendants will occur            
 each year.  While developing this fiscal note, they had picked 15             
 cases a year as a fair representation of the projected number that            
 this bill would affect.  She said even this small number would                
 consume weeks for the court system.  She pointed out that in                  
 California, after they passed their "Three Strikes" law, the Los              
 Angeles District Attorney's Office had to shut down numerous                  
 departments dealing with environmental law and fraud, to deal with            
 the increased workload from the "Three Strikes" cases.  She added             
 the California Judicial Council projected that this law would                 
 amount to an extra 17,000 jury trials per year.  She also said that           
 many of the civil judges in California had been taken off of the              
 civil bench and reassigned to criminal cases.  She thought this was           
 an important lesson for us to learn of the far reaching                       
 consequences of this legislation.  She said that figures from the             
 FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed there had not been            
 growth in the overall crime rate over the last two decades.  She              
 said the rate of violent crime had actually dropped 22 percent                
 between 1980 and 1992.                                                        
 TAPE 95-12, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 MS. BRINK said she wanted to point out that the rate of violent               
 crime among offenders 35 and older has decreased, and that where              
 violent crime is on the increase, is in younger populations which             
 would not be affected by this bill.  She said that in Washington              
 State, prosecutors and police officers have observed that since the           
 passage of their "Three Strikes" law, criminals have been showing             
 a scary tendency to be more violent or desperate when they are                
 about to be apprehended.  They are more willing to resist arrest,             
 knowing that for that crime, they will spend a lifetime in prison.            
 She also argued that incarcerating a person for life places a much            
 larger management burden, as there is no incentive for good                   
 behavior.  She also thought that the incarceration of older                   
 prisoners forces the release of younger ones, and so the desired              
 result is not a consequence of this bill.  She said the largest               
 group of inmates is in the 18- to 24-year-old category and is                 
 uneducated and unemployed.  They don't have a high school degree              
 and are likely to have been raised by a single parent.  They have             
 an income of less than $10,000 a year.  Nationwide, more than half            
 of convicted violent offenders were under the influence of drugs or           
 alcohol and she thought that in Alaska, the percentages were                  
 probably higher.  She said child abuse and neglect increased by 40            
 percent, the chance that the child will eventually become a                   
 criminal.  She said these are areas where violent crime could be              
 effectively combatted through education and social policy.  Violent           
 crime needs to be prevented, not punished after the fact.  She                
 feared the legacy of the "Three Strikes" bill could be that it                
 diverted limited resources away from things that actually could               
 have had a positive effect on our crime rate.                                 
 Number 089                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE responded saying he agreed Alaska's violent              
 crime rate has not gone up, but he would argue that the type of               
 violent crime had gone from domestic violence to drive by                     
 shootings.  He also said the public's perceptions of their                    
 vulnerability to violent crime has increased.  He thought part of             
 what this bill did was to send a message of support to the average            
 citizen, building their support in the criminal justice system.  He           
 thought it was pretty low now, after 40 years of what he said that            
 some would call coddling criminals.  He said it was hard for him to           
 imagine and the testimony last year indicated that serious felonies           
 such as this bill affects, are already seriously litigated.  He               
 also reminded the committee there was discretion allowed on the               
 part of the prosecutor, and he argued that they would only attempt            
 this route, if they had a sure case.  He stated he would also like            
 to remind the committee that this bill is not like the "Three                 
 Strikes" legislation of other states that have plugged up their               
 courts, and he could say, at least in the case of New York, they              
 were wanting copies of this bill to use as a starting point for               
 their own "Three Strikes" or habitual offender legislation.                   
 Finally, he wanted to remind the committee there were perks in                
 prison, and so he was not convinced by arguments that if you place            
 someone in prison long term, they would not be able to be managed.            
 He said that there were perks for good behavior and so we did not             
 have to let them out early to make them feel good.                            
 Number 130                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER wanted to verify whether there was any other            
 MARGARET BERCK, Attorney and member of the Alaska Chapter of the              
 American Civil Liberties Union, said that in looking at this bill             
 as a trial attorney, she wanted to share her views as to what she             
 thought this bill would mean to the public and criminals in Alaska.           
 She stated she could think of one of her clients that might fit               
 under this legislation, who had been sentenced to 61 years in                 
 prison with 20 years suspended.  By the time he gets released and             
 is clear of his sentence, he would be 72 years of age.  She was               
 concerned that the bill, as currently worded, did not allow for the           
 discretion of either the parole board or the judge to go back and             
 look at someone's sentence until they had served half of it, or 49            
 1/2 years.  She thought the sponsor intended that when the person             
 gets in their sixties or seventies and is unlikely to commit any              
 more crimes, they would be released, so the public would not have             
 to care for them in a costly prison nursing home.  She was                    
 concerned that there was no provision for going back to the court             
 and requesting a modification of sentence for a rehabilitated                 
 prisoner.  She pointed out that she had only been successful twice            
 in getting a modification of sentence for any of her clients, and             
 one was for a person diagnosed with terminal cancer.  She also                
 expressed concern that this bill would limit the ability of the               
 judiciary, who she thought had acted very responsibly.  She also              
 thought the committee should reconsider the position of this bill             
 to force an elderly individual to serve the remainder of their                
 sentence, after they are no longer a threat to society.  She was              
 also concerned that this bill would give greater discretionary                
 authority to the prosecutor by forcing up the penalties and making            
 them more mandatory.  She pointed out that prosecutors are not                
 elected and so the public has very little control over them.  She             
 concluded by saying she agreed with Representative Porter, who she            
 thought was saying that each person was an individual and that                
 bills such as these, took away the discretionary authority of the             
 judiciary to treat each person as an individual and make individual           
 decisions on the people who appear before them.                               
 Number 308                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Ms. Berck what she meant when she said              
 she had only one client who would fall under the purview of this              
 MS. BERCK verified that what she meant was she had one client                 
 within the last two years, who would fall within the parameters of            
 this bill.                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated he thought that the fact that this bill            
 was before the committee, was a demonstration of the public                   
 perception that criminals get sentenced lightly and are back on the           
 streets creating havoc.  He asked if Ms. Berck could offer an                 
 alternative solution to this bill that would keep criminals in jail           
 for a longer period of time their first or second offense, and that           
 would satisfy his constituents' demands that the legislature do               
 something about these repeat offenders.                                       
 Number 355                                                                    
 MS. BERCK said she thought that public perception was possibly                
 skewed by the unusual cases that are publicized in the press.  She            
 said she didn't know how to educate the public and she didn't know            
 who was responsible for this education process.  She said her                 
 response was to not take the discretion away from the judiciary to            
 make those determinations of who should be sent to prison for a               
 long time and who should have the chance of rehabilitation.                   
 Number 383                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Ms. Berck to explain how in the 1980s           
 we completely revamped our criminal code and put in presumptive               
 sentencing.  She wanted to point out that a lot of discretion was             
 taken away from judges a long time ago.                                       
 CHAIR JAMES commented that she thought the members of this                    
 committee were aware of presumptive sentencing, and so asked Ms.              
 Berck to respond quickly in the interest of saving time.                      
 MS. BERCK stated that under presumptive sentencing, the criminal              
 code did increase penalties and did erode the discretionary                   
 authority of the judges.  She said if larger penalties do deter               
 criminals, we should have seen some results from these stiffer                
 penalties of the 1980s, but haven't.                                          
 CHAIR JAMES stated she wanted to point out that although the level            
 of crime has remained relatively the same, statistics show that               
 there is a difference in the kind of crimes and the people who are            
 committing them.  She stated if that were included and we realized            
 that even with this new layer of crimes and criminals, the level of           
 overall crime had stayed the same, then we could safely assume the            
 crime that we had before had decreased as a result of presumptive             
 Number 421                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER admitted that his background was going to               
 show on this bill.  He said that presumptive sentencing came about            
 as a result of the abuse of judicial discretion.  He stated a study           
 had indicated that the judges at that time were sentencing                    
 minorities and people of lower economic backgrounds to harsher                
 penalties than those who were not in these categories.  He                    
 submitted that the average offender would not be affected by this             
 bill, but rather your "John Dillinger" variety of criminal.  He               
 thought these people should be sent away for longer periods of                
 time.  He argued that the fiscal notes and concerns of the defense            
 bar were driven by the philosophy of what would happen if every               
 opportunity of invoking this legislation were invoked.  He said               
 these decisions would be made by the prosecutors.  He pointed out             
 there was a history of the habitual offender law in this state                
 which would suggest that these fiscal notes were not correct.  He             
 said when he was a police officer, there was a habitual offender              
 law and it was used as a deterrent to persuade some professional              
 criminals to get out of business.  He also argued that this type of           
 law does help to turn around the average criminal who gets into a             
 bad pattern, because they feel the threat of being sent away for              
 life.  He said that habitual offender legislation has saved a lot             
 of crime and expense in this state, as opposed to causing it.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if there was anyone representing the                
 Department of Corrections.  He asked what percentage of the                   
 population who had committed these types of crimes were minorities.           
 Number 475                                                                    
 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of           
 Corrections, said he couldn't answer the question of what                     
 percentage of these criminals were minorities.                                
 CHAIR JAMES asked that he gather this information and provide it to           
 Representative Ivan.                                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON was curious if we had invited the                     
 Department of Law to testify on this bill.                                    
 CHAIR JAMES responded there was no special guest list; anyone was             
 invited to testify on any bill they wished.  She added that the               
 State Affairs committee's overview was to see how these bills would           
 affect the state, and while there probably was some legal                     
 questions, she felt very comfortable with letting them be raised in           
 the Judiciary Committee.  She said Representative Robinson was free           
 to invite anyone she wished in the future, but this committee did             
 not have a special guest list.  She added that generally the                  
 sponsor makes many of these invitations or they come on their own.            
 Number 510                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that the committee pass HB 38 with                
 individual recommendations and the attached questionable fiscal               
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none, the            
 bill was passed to the next committee of referral.                            
 HSTA - 02/09/95                                                               
 HB 106 - REPEAL OF ART IN PUBLIC PLACES REQUIREMENT                         
 Number 519                                                                    
 CHAIR JAMES called for Representative Al Vezey to testify and                 
 provide an explanation of the intent of his bill.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY, Sponsor of HB 106, stated that HB 106 is             
 a bill intended to repeal one of the statutes that set into                   
 operation a formula funding program.  He said the purpose of the              
 bill is to repeal a formula program and to place back into the                
 realm of the legislature, the accountability and responsibility of            
 the appropriation of state funds.  He did not intend to comment on            
 the merits of where the funding for this program goes.  He said the           
 statute being repealed by this bill is probably one of in excess of           
 100 statutes where the legislature has abrogated its constitutional           
 authority and responsibility to appropriate funds.  He thought it             
 was very appropriate that legislators start to take steps to bring            
 back some of this authority and responsibility back to the                    
 legislature and away from the Administration.  He said it gets to             
 an issue of accountability.  He said when it is in a formula                  
 program, there is no one that the public can hold accountable if              
 they do not like the way that money is being spent.  He said this             
 was just one of many areas in the statutes where he felt the                  
 legislature needed to resume its constitutional responsibility and            
 accountability for appropriating funds.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated she thought it was good public                 
 policy to include art in the constructing costs, which she felt               
 really made a building pleasant to be in for long periods of time.            
 She said she was curious as to why he felt this was not good public           
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he thought he had answered this in his              
 opening statement, but pointed out that the state spends a lot more           
 than 1 percent of our public works for aesthetics.  He said you               
 could build a box for under $100 a square foot and our public                 
 buildings cost $200 a square foot.  He said some of this was                  
 requirements of law, but much of this funding was architectural               
 improvements which add to the aesthetics and quality of the                   
 building.  He said the legislature has this responsibility and                
 should be accountable for how we spend this money.  With a formula            
 program, there is no accountability or responsibility.  He said the           
 public has no recourse.                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated she did not see how the architect              
 had anything to do with the 1 percent.  She said the 1 percent was            
 intended for decorating the building after it was already built.              
 She wondered what he meant by the role of the architect in this.              
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that her question addressed the area           
 of aesthetics and public appreciation of the building, and he had             
 commented that most of the aesthetics and public appreciation                 
 factor was incorporated into the architecture of the building.                
 Number 600                                                                    
 CHAIR JAMES commented she saw this bill as taking the approach that           
 currently when there is a capital project appropriation, it is 1              
 percent larger to factor in the formula program for art.  If this             
 bill passed, then the legislature would have the choice of saying             
 this is how much they want to spend on this building and this is              
 how much they want to spend on art.  She said that currently with             
 the formula funding program, there is no relationship between the             
 1 percent for art and the value of the building.  With the choice,            
 the legislature may choose to spend more or less for art in a                 
 particular building.  She said she thought the thrust of this bill            
 was to put the choice back to the legislature to decide exactly               
 what they want to do.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she didn't think this would change               
 things.  She said she knew from personal experience that people               
 building a new structure did not divide out the 1 percent that they           
 would spend on art.  She said they would come in and request                  
 funding, and out of that amount take 1 percent for art.  She said             
 she did not see this was going to save any money for the budget.              
 She said if a contractor didn't have that requirement for art, they           
 would come back to the legislature to get additional funding.                 
 CHAIR JAMES stated her personal response was that she would much              
 rather have that 1 percent go into a maintenance account for the              
 maintenance of things which are not currently being addressed.                
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN mentioned that he could appreciate the intent             
 of this bill and felt this 1 percent could accumulate to a sizeable           
 amount over the course of many construction projects.  He said this           
 could, five years down the line, affect issues of economic                    
 development and things such as water and sewer projects, which                
 might not have the necessary amount of funding available.  He said            
 if there was a need for art in a particular instance, he was sure             
 that someone would raise the issue with the legislature or the                
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated art was something that was truly in the           
 eye of the beholder, and when he looked at some of the art in our             
 public buildings, it was hard for him to justify some the curly Q's           
 and squiggles that are called art.  He said he agreed that art                
 should be something that should be optional to the builder and not            
 mandatory.  He felt the sponsor was right, that by allowing this              
 formula program, the legislature was abrogating its responsibility            
 to oversee the budget.  He stated he agreed that this should                  
 certainly be made voluntary and not mandatory.                                
 Number 644                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated he agreed with Representative Vezey's              
 analysis that the aesthetics of a building could be designed in               
 with the architectural details.  He said he would support moving              
 this bill out of committee.                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES called Tim Wilson to come up and testify on HB 106.               
 Number 651                                                                    
 TIM WILSON, Executive Director, Alaska State Council on the Arts,             
 said the council was an autonomous council and commission budget              
 unit under the Department of Education.  He referred to a letter              
 from the council enclosed in the committee packets.  He wanted to             
 point out that the vast majority of these projects were in schools.           
 Thus, he claimed the primary constituency that would be affected by           
 this would be children.  He said in rural areas, schools are very             
 much public facilities used not only for the education of children.           
 He stated the council considers this program as kind of a fiscally            
 conservative program.  He said the program operated on eligible               
 costs, and not every building was eligible and not every cost was             
 eligible.  He stated it was only above the ground construction cost           
 of that building.  He said it was not 1 percent of the entire                 
 capital budget.  He argued that the formula funding program just              
 obliges the contractor to set aside 1 percent of their capital                
 project for purposes of art and decor.  He argued that the                    
 legislature did have oversight in that they appropriated the                  
 capital budgets.  He said it did not cost more because they just              
 cut a little on something like the carpets or floors to pay for the           
 art and aesthetic enrichment of the building.  He thought this was            
 reflected in the attached fiscal notes.  He said he would agree               
 that art is in the eye of the beholder.  He said the Arts Council             
 does not administer this program, but are its advocates.  He                  
 thought this program allowed for each community to decide what type           
 of art it wanted in its buildings.  He said art is a legacy that              
 reflects the values of society and he thought that to take it away            
 was a serious loss.  He attributed the increase of crime and the              
 decay of society to a loss of our culture's values and he thought             
 that art could reinforce and educate us of our values.  He said               
 that as individuals enter the Capitol, they are reminded of the               
 history of our state, as a result of the art displayed.  He claimed           
 that to repeal this program would not save any money, but we would            
 lose a statement of our history and our spirit.                               
 TAPE 95-13, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 015                                                                    
 CHAIR JAMES reiterated that she supported art in public places.               
 She thought though, that she did not agree that this program did              
 not cost us any money.  Even if you take it out of something else             
 such as the carpet, it still costs money.  She stated she was                 
 distressed that we had about $500 million on the request list for             
 schools in this state.  She said many of these schools were in dire           
 need of repairs for life-saving health safety issues.  She asked if           
 it wouldn't be better for the legislature to make a decision on how           
 much they wanted to spend on art in these schools, as opposed to a            
 mandatory 1 percent, so that maybe they could come up with some of            
 the funding necessary to resolve some of these safety issues.                 
 MR. WILSON said he did not mean to imply that this program did not            
 cost money.  Certainly it does.  He stated what he meant was that             
 it did not get added on top of the capital budget.  He thought it             
 did not add to the cost of the building.  He emphasized with the              
 legislature having to prioritize budget decisions, but he thought             
 this was a very small percentage of the budget pie.                           
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER thought perhaps there was a better process of           
 budgeting and decision making in Southeast Alaska than Anchorage,             
 but he had to comment that he thought art in the Federal Building             
 was really bad.  He said he could not see how $100,000 neon tubes             
 on a wall were a wise use of public funds, and although this was              
 not a state expenditure, it was similar to the type of program they           
 were proposing to repeal.                                                     
 MR. WILSON said communities selected the type of art that was                 
 appropriate for them.                                                         
 Number 053                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER argued that these types of decisions could              
 still be made if they repealed this statute, but the question was,            
 who was to be held accountable - some art people or those charged             
 with the entire project and expenditure.                                      
 MR. WILSON explained that after a capital project appropriation is            
 made, then the builder will begin planning either through the                 
 Department of Transportation and Public Facilities or the                     
 Department of Education.  By regulation, they must form a                     
 committee, which includes the architect, the users of the building            
 and other artists and members of the community.  He said the                  
 artists sometimes visit the schools and work with teachers and                
 students to try and get their input into the design of the art.  He           
 thought if they could visit different facilities around the state,            
 they would be very proud of the art displayed.                                
 Number 108                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated he also disagreed that it did not cost            
 money to implement the 1 percent for art program.  He also added              
 that this bill did not deny art in public buildings, it just said             
 that we would not demand it.  He also wanted to point out that we             
 had art in public places before this program was in effect, and he            
 felt this would continue.  He said we did not have to dedicate or             
 dictate that it be there.                                                     
 Number 126                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN wanted to state for the record that he was not            
 in opposition to art in public places.  Having said this, he                  
 thought there were better uses for this money as we plan for the              
 CHAIR JAMES commented that some of her favorite art in the Capitol            
 was the school art displayed on the walls, and this did not require           
 the 1 percent funding formula to be placed there.  She said the               
 problem that she had with this program, was the arbitrary taking of           
 1 percent, without consultation of the legislature, and deciding              
 this was the best way to spend our money.                                     
 Number 153                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he wanted to send a message to the                   
 artistic community that maybe if they were a little more sensitive            
 to the traditional values of the people, maybe they would have more           
 support.  He cited an example of some art that his children had               
 seen in the Alaska State Museum, which displayed a full frontal               
 view of a woman urinating in a cup.  He questioned the artistic               
 value of this and said this was why he thought we should give the             
 local communities more options to decide the type of art they                 
 wanted in their buildings.                                                    
 Number 185                                                                    
 CHAIR JAMES read a testimonial letter from the Institute of Alaska            
 Native Arts, a statewide organization formed in 1976 to provide               
 services to Alaskan Native artists and the general public.  They              
 feared that without the current 1 percent for art program, the                
 works of Alaskan artists would be limited to a few private                    
 collections.  In today's declining budgets, the acquisition                   
 abilities of most museums were declining.  They said the current              
 percent for art program still costs less than one penny for every             
 dollar spent on construction, as art in rural schools receives one-           
 half of 1 percent contribution.  The display of art in public                 
 buildings sends a message of creativity and opportunity.  An empty            
 building sends a very different message.  They strongly urged the             
 committee to not take any action on HB 106, and wherever possible,            
 maintain the current level of support for art programs in the                 
 CHAIR JAMES commented that with this period of declining revenues,            
 the legislature was going to be forced to take a closer look at               
 many of these formula programs, and the question has to be asked              
 what happened with art in public places before these programs were            
 in place.  She said that as Representative Green already pointed              
 out, the art has always been there.  She said that to say that if             
 you take this program away, art will go away, she thought was a               
 misnomer.  She thought this legislature was trying to look at more            
 responsible ways of spending state money and to allow the public              
 more choice to see if they would rather spend the money a different           
 Number 245                                                                    
 NATALIE ROTHAUS, Executive Director, Juneau Arts and Humanities               
 Council, said the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council is concerned             
 over HB 106.  They said the purpose of the percent for arts program           
 is to foster culture and the arts.  She said that repeal of this              
 program will negatively affect the two constituencies that it is              
 designed to help - the public and the artists.  They thought the              
 biggest impact would be felt by Alaska's schools and children.  The           
 result of this program has been to enrich the environment of our              
 buildings and to bring the works of our artists to public view.  It           
 has also given artists work, support, and a place to display their            
 art.  They thought it should be government's role to set the                  
 example of creating an environment that is culturally rich and                
 aesthetically pleasing.  They quoted an editorial which stated that           
 government had as much of a responsibility to fund the arts, which            
 nourish our souls, as they did commerce, which feeds our bodies.              
 The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council feels that government has              
 the responsibility to enhance the quality of life in Alaska, and              
 urged the committee to vote against HB 106.                                   
 Number 270                                                                    
 CHARLES ROHRBACHER, a local artist and iconographer, said he                  
 thought that it was important for the committee to hear from                  
 working artists on the impact of HB 106.  He said he did not                  
 qualify for the 1 percent for art program, as the quality of his              
 art was religious.  He said that as a member of the community of              
 artists, he urged the committee to consider the importance of their           
 decision today.  He thought it would send a message of what the               
 state believed about the purpose and function of art to artists and           
 to the general community.  He also thought it sent a strong message           
 about what we value and don't value.  He said he did not consider             
 this a subsidy, but rather a patronage.  He stated that                       
 historically, different entities were the patrons of the arts,                
 including the church, kings, and in our country, the state as a               
 representation of the people.  He said he would urge the committee            
 to take this responsibility seriously.  He said that historically,            
 people have continuously found the resources to support art and he            
 would urge the committee to do the same and to not eliminate the              
 percent for art program.                                                      
 Number 329                                                                    
 CHAIR JAMES invited Representative Vezey to come and make a closing           
 comment on his bill.                                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that in his opening statement, he did not           
 address the funding formula program intentionally.  He said there             
 had been a number of wrong statements about how the formula worked,           
 but it was in the statutes and anyone could look it up for                    
 themselves.  Thus, he would not take the time now to speak to these           
 erroneous statements.  He said the subject of the bill was not the            
 elimination of the arts, but accountability of how the legislature            
 appropriates funds.  He thought that accountability and                       
 responsibility should come back to the legislature.                           
 CHAIR JAMES asked for a motion to move this bill out of committee.            
 Number 339                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved that the committee pass out HB 106 and              
 attached fiscal notes with individual recommendations.                        
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any objections.                               
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS stated he was going to vote against this                
 bill, saying that we were a multi-cultural state.  He said various            
 cultures express their values and beliefs through art, and as has             
 been pointed out, some of these displays are in our public                    
 facilities, and this should be continued.  He thought the                     
 legislature should not do anything to jeopardize this and it was              
 important that as a society, we continue this program.                        
 CHAIR JAMES reiterated that the motion was to pass this bill out of           
 committee with attached fiscal notes and individual                           
 recommendations.  She called for a roll call vote on the motion.              
 REPRESENTATIVES James, Porter, Green, Ivan, and Ogan voted in favor           
 of the motion.  Representatives Robinson and Willis voted against.            
 CHAIR JAMES announced that the bill had passed.                               
 CHAIR JAMES said that for those bill sponsors who could not attend            
 the Saturday meeting, the committee would be rolling their bills              
 over until Tuesday, February 14, 1995.  She said we would be having           
 a Saturday, February 11, meeting to hear HB 132 and HJR 20.  She              
 adjourned the meeting at 10 a.m.                                              

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