Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/11/1995 10:02 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE February 11, 1995 10:02 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Scott Ogan, Vice-Chair Representative Joe Green Representative Ivan Ivan Representative Brian Porter Representative Caren Robinson Representative Ed Willis MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR HJR 20:A Resolution relating to unfunded federal mandates and the Conference of the States. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HB 132:"An Act repealing the ability of persons seeking an elective state executive office or a state 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." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HSTA - 02/11/95 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." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD WITNESS REGISTER WAYNE MALONEY, Legislative Aide Representative Ramona Barnes Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 403 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: 465-3438 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HJR 20 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 404 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: 465-4925 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsored HB 132 DAVE KOIVUNIEMI, Acting Director Division of Elections 4th Floor Court Plaza Building Juneau,Alaska 99801 Telephone: 465-4611 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on HB 132 PREVIOUS ACTION 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 02/11/95 (H) STA AT 10:00 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 02/11/95 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 44 SHORT TITLE: GAMING PROCEEDS/DEFINE CHARITABLE ORG'NS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Rokeberg,Porter,Bunde,Green 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 02/10/95 321 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 02/11/95 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-14, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES called the House State Affairs Committee meeting to order at 10:02 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives James, Ogan, Green, Ivan, Porter Robinson and Willis. Chair James announced a quorum was present. HSTA - 02/11/95 HJR 20 - CONFERENCE OF THE STATES Number 015 WAYNE MALONEY, staff assistant to Representative Barnes, read the following statement regarding HJR 20: HJR 20 authorizes the State of Alaska to send an official delegation to a conference of the states to be held later this year or in 1996. The conference would be the first formal meeting of the 50 states since 1786. Delegates from all 50 states would debate and vote on an action plan designated to restore the checks and balances between the states and the federal government guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. While this action plan would not be binding on the federal government, it would be impossible for Congress or the President to ignore. The conference would receive national and international media attention, and action taken would have to be considered by the federal government. The conference would occur no later than nine months after a total of 26 states pass resolutions like the one before you today. Seven states, including Kentucky, Utah, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Missouri, and Virginia have already approved this resolution, and it is under consideration by most of the other states in the union this year. Under the terms of the resolution, the Governor and four lawmakers, two from each house, will be voting delegates on behalf of Alaska at this conference, and if each of the 50 states sends a delegation as expected there would be a total of 250 voting members. Congress would be encouraged to send people to the conference, but members of Congress would not be permitted to vote. This is a national initiative, being organized by the Council of State Governments in Cooperative with the National Conference of State Legislators and the National Governors' Association. It enjoys broad bipartisan support from both political parties and is also backed by the Knowles Administration here in this state. This resolution is an important step toward restoring the balances to government envisioned by the Tenth Amendment, and on behalf of Representative Barnes I would ask you to pass it from committee today. Number 070 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked Mr. Maloney if he saw any conflict due to the many Tenth Amendment bills and resolutions that have been submitted, and whether he saw HJR 20 as a supplement to these. MR. MALONEY replied that the other bills assert the states' rights under the constitution, and that HJR 20 is a more "friendly" attempt to assert states' rights as well, under the convention format, which is a gathering of the states to discuss the pros and cons of an action plan designed to put the states on a more equal footing with the federal government in terms of policy. Number 105 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that Representative Ogan's bill and those submitted by some others were tailored toward Tenth Amendment attitudes prevailing in some of the western states, and asked if HJR 20 would be a supplement to this, or an alternate course. MR. MALONEY replied that the convention would be an opportunity for all 50 states to get together "under extreme media attention" to debate the issue of states' rights under the Tenth Amendment. He added though resolutions are important, many states pass them every year; and this convention would focus media attention and public debate nationwide on the rights of the states. Number 146 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN voiced concern that joining with all 50 states would dissipate the energies and the force of the message given by just the western states. MR. MALONEY said he didn't see that happening, because the idea was not to thwart any other attempts but to formulate and present an action plan in a politically positive way. Number 185 CHAIR JAMES shared her concerns about HJR 20; the biggest one being that it looks like a "feel good" solution, a "media hype"; and though the convention is not designed to be a constitutional convention, she does not necessarily trust what would be done as a result of five designated representatives determining their own agenda when they get there, which might differ from what Alaska as a state might actually want. She also feared that delegates might return with a directive to petition for a constitutional amendment or a constitutional convention. The only difference she sees between HJR 20 and SJR 7 which was passed on the House floor the previous day, is that HJR 20 proposes a conference of states; the other one does not. The message has already been sent via SJR 7. She added that HJR 20 had a fiscal note of $11,000, and she suspects that is not adequate to cover the cost of sending five people to a convention of states. She summarized that HJR 20 seems like just a media exercise and she hesitates to think that any real solutions will come out of it, but that if it does pass she will give her support to the delegates. Number 317 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN said he holds the Constitution in high regard, and there is nothing wrong with it other than the fact that it is not being interpreted as our forefathers wrote it. He said he shares the concern that a convention of states could turn into a constitution convention or a preamble for one. Number 340 MR. MALONEY said his understanding is that the National Conference of State Legislators wanted the resolution passed in identical form by all 50 states; that the resolution could in no may be construed as a constitutional convention or lead to one, but rather it is a way to relieve pressure for a constitutional convention. He read from a handout from former Mayor Tom Fink: "The legislation that Congress is considering is a big step forward, but by itself it does not go far enough. The bills passed by the House and the Senate are quite limited. They only affect future legislation and leave all existing unfunded mandates in force. The bill will end up exempting some federal laws from the unfunded mandates prohibition." He added there is a $50 million cap in one version of the federal law, and a $100 million cap in the other version of the federal law, meaning unfunded federal mandates could continue to be passed as long as they were below that threshold, and unless states actively do something to take back the rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment they run a risk of losing the ability to exercise those rights at all. Number 378 CHAIR JAMES stated that she is a big supporter of process, because skipping over process leads to dictatorship, but she is concerned that doing away with every single phased-in unfunded mandate would cause total collapse. She wondered if the conference of states is asking for something that is impossible, and observed that it is a variance of process. She added that pushing an issue too far can cause a loss of all ground gained. Number 422 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER asked what the plan or strategy is behind HJR 20 and where is it going. MR. MALONEY replied that page 8 of the document he distributed from The Council of State Governments outlines what may or may not be discussed at a conference of states; for example, strengthening the Tenth Amendment can be discussed, and he read, "A better strategy would be to focus on process amendments, the results of which would be much more predictable and would naturally bring about a better balance of the system over a number of years. A number of individuals and task forces have recommended, for example, adding a clause that would put the states on equal footing with Congress in proposing constitutional amendments. Another example....would give states the power to sunset any federal law.....Such a discussion would surely get the attention of Congress." He added that dialogue regarding various remedies is healthy, and nothing discussed at a conference of the states could be acted on without first coming to all participating states; everything would be just advisory. It would be the start of a national dialogue on the strength of the states. Number 462 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if the plan would be a forum to identify ways to return power to the states through a less difficult process than the current method available to amend the constitution. MR. MALONEY replied that the agenda has not been set. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER observed that it takes a constitutional amendment to come up with a new way to amend the constitution. MR. MALONEY said this could be included in the action plan. Number 487 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN observed that this situation could become an "Alfonse-Gastone" problem where two baseball players each assumed the other would catch the fly ball and it dropped between them. He feared that if Alaska did not focus hard on one plan, the energies will be confused and the ball will be dropped. Number 508 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON noted that HJR 20 says 26 states would have to adopt the resolution, and asked if all 50 states would be invited. MR. MALONEY responded yes. REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS asked if delegates would bring recommendations back to individual states to be reviewed by each legislature. MR. MALONEY said this was correct. He referred to the flow chart in the committee packets which outlines the process and guarantees the process does not get out of hand. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS requested this flow chart become part of the record. A summary of the process outlined in the flow chart follows: Step 1:Each state legislature adopts a Resolution of Participation. Each legislature appoints a bipartisan delegation of four legislators and the Governor to attend the Conference of the States. Step 2:When a significant majority of states have passed the Resolution of Participation, the Council of State Governments will convene bipartisan incorporators appointed by legislative leadership in the participating states. Step 3:The Conference of States is held. Solutions to restore balance are discussed, refined and voted upon. Step 4:The product of the Conference of States is a document, a new instrument in American democracy called a "States' Petition." The States' Petition constitutes the highest form of communication between the states and Congress. Step 5:The States' Petition is carried back by delegates to their respective state legislatures for approval. States' Petition items which involve constitutional amendments require approval of a constitutional majority of state legislators. Step 6:The States' Petition is presented to Congress. Ignoring a constitutional majority of states would signal an arrogance on the part of Congress - an arrogance the states and the American people would find intolerable. Number 588 CHAIR JAMES mentioned the power of the "group think" philosophy as a deterrent to true consensus, adding that she was concerned that the momentum of the National Conference of State Legislators could keep the single voice from being heard. Number 574 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved an amendment as outlined in 2 paragraphs on page 8 of an opinion from the Law Offices of Peter D. Lepiscopo, 2635 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, California, 92108: RESOLVED that Alaska's participation in any conference of the states shall in no way be interpreted or construed to be consent by the state of Alaska to be an application to Congress under the amendment procedure set forth in Article V of the Constitution of the United States. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Alaska's participation in any Conference of the States shall in no way be interpreted or construed to be for the purpose of amending or proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if the second paragraph would be a total annihilation of the purpose of the conference. CHAIR JAMES said she thought the conference was supposed to deal only with the Tenth Amendment and not constitutional amendments. MR. MALONEY said he thought it was appropriate to allow the delegates to discuss whatever they wished to discuss, and that everything discussed would be brought back to the states. He added there are a great number of checks and balances in the process. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the first paragraph is an appropriate safeguard, but the second one is over-reaching by not allowing discussion of constitutional amendments by legitimate process which would gage the feelings of all the states. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said if there is a consensus, he would withdraw the second paragraph from his amendment. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON suggested splitting the question. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said he shared concerns about getting into a constitutional convention, but his fears were allayed by Mr. Maloney's flow chart. Number 642 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked, once the convention starts, can the process be stopped by an individual state's not ratifying the recommendations and not participating in the action plan. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said yes, and that she would feel better if the process were actually outlined in the resolution. She wanted to ensure that the majority rules and the minority is heard. Number 680 MR. MALONEY replied that even if all 50 states voted to ratify the action plan, it would still be only advisory to Congress. If only two states ratified it, Congress would still hear the plan. In either case, Congress would not be compelled to act. CHAIR JAMES said "we the people" can always petition to amend the constitution, and that is an action requiring a response from Congress. Number 688 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he still had the concern that, for example, 26 states meet and agree to something different from what Alaska and other individual states have already sent to Congress. He asked if this would then send a confusing message. CHAIR JAMES said there is no answer to this, and she would like to vote on the amendment. Tape 95-14, SIDE B Number 000 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to divide the question. There were no objections. CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any objections to the first paragraph. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS objected to including either paragraph because there are enough safeguards without them. CHAIR JAMES called for the vote. On the first paragraph of the amendment, Representatives James, Ogan, Green, Ivan, Porter, and Robinson voted yes. Representative Willis voted no. So the amendment passed. CHAIR JAMES called for a vote on the second paragraph. Representatives James, Ogan, Green, and Ivan voted yes. Representatives Porter, Robinson, and Willis voted no. So the amendment passed. Number 063 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted that HJR 20 does not have a Finance Committee referral, but that it does have a fiscal note, and she asked what is the procedure. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER replied that if a bill picks up a fiscal note during the process, it would receive a Finance Committee referral, so HJR 20 should get an additional referral to the Finance Committee. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she thought Chair James should talk to the Speaker and be sure this happens. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved that HJR 20 be passed from committee, as amended, with attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. CHAIR JAMES questioned why the $11,000 fiscal note was so low, and said she assumed additional funds would come out of the Governor's operating budget to send delegates to the convention. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN agreed it was too low. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it would probably cost more like $5,000 for each delegate. Number 136 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the motion could include a "friendly amendment" to include a committee memorandum outlining concerns over the fact the fiscal note is probably not sufficient, and also recommending a Finance Committee referral. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN agreed to include this as part of his motion. Number 160 CHAIR JAMES restated the motion: The motion was "to move HJR 20 out of committee as amended, with individual recommendations, attached fiscal note, and with the recommendation of this committee that the fiscal note be scrutinized for its sufficiency and that HJR 20 be given a Finance Committee referral." Hearing no objection, the bill passed out of committee. She called for a short break. Number 177 CHAIR JAMES complimented the committee for having everyone in attendance on such a sunny day. HSTA - 02/11/95 HB 132 - CANDIDATES FOR STATEWIDE BALLOT Number 190 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE, sponsor of House Bill 132, read his sponsor statement: I introduced HB 132 to bring parity to the state's election process. The principle provision of the bill is the requirement that all candidates for state elective office must enter the primary election contest. Currently, any Alaskan citizen eligible for elective office may bypass the state's primary election and be placed directly on the general election ballot by a nominating petition. In my view, this causes two inequities. First, the voters are denied full knowledge at the onset of all contestants seeking election to a particular office. Voter access to financial disclosure information of petition candidates is delayed until just two months before the general election. Furthermore, voter exposure to petition candidates' views and positions on issues of public interest is many times limited and compressed. The second inequity is that the petition process provides a short cut avenue to the general election ballot. It thus acts as an incentive for citizens to get directly on the general election ballot, because it saves money and the campaign scrutiny by the electorate is short. While independent candidates have occasionally won elective office, they more often act as spoilers to the competition between primary election winners. In effect then, the two ballot, primary-general election system, designed to winnow the many candidates down to contests between the few, is subverted. The infusion of petition candidates onto the general election ballot can make it an election system of few primary contests transcending into contests among the many in the general election. HB 132 would place all candidates before the electorate on an equal footing. This is accomplished by requiring all candidates to be in the primary election. Just as the top vote getter of each political group will move on to the general election ballot, so too will the top vote getter among all independent candidates for a particular elective office. In this manner, the electorate will have an equal opportunity to view and assess all candidates for an elective office. And each candidate will be equally challenged by the election process. He continued that he was inspired to file this bill, not by any personalities or individuals, but because of complaints that allowing candidates to enter the election after the primary doesn't give voters a chance to get familiar with the candidates, their Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) reports, or their campaign fund sources, and that it is confusing to the voters because they don't see their candidate's name on the ballot in the primary. He filed the bill with public interest, not political fallout, in mind. The Speaker of the House is the bill's co-sponsor, which gives it a nonpartisan approach. Number 272 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER offered a scenario with a primary ballot containing two Republicans, two Democrats, one Independent Republican, two Independent Democrats, one Green, and one AIP. He asked if, after the primary, the general election ballot would contain one Republican, one Democrat, the one Independent Republican who was unopposed, one Independent Democrat, one Green, and one AIP. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE replied that would be correct, and that is possible right now. The only changes HB 132 would make is in not allowing a candidate to bypass the primary and requiring all candidates to file by June 1. He said he has no desire to restrict anyone's ability to run for office under any party name as long as they get enough petition signatures, nor does he want to rewrite election laws. His aim is to create a level playing field. Number 333 CHAIR JAMES pointed out that some candidates do not designate a party and instead run as a "small" i (for independent). If several candidates do this, she asked if then only one would advance to the general election. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE replied this was correct. CHAIR JAMES said this means that by not choosing a party, candidates have, by default, chosen a "small" i designation, which is a very popular choice, and she feared this would discourage independent candidates from choosing to run as a "small" i so they could run unopposed. She stated she really supports this bill, but wants to be sure they aren't eliminating potential candidates. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE clarified that the purpose of a primary election is to narrow the scope. Under HB 132, all candidates filing for office will be told by the Division of Elections that if they don't declare a party it is possible they will be opposed in the primary by other undeclared candidates. Number 400 CHAIR JAMES noted that she has always been politically active and recognizes the importance of affiliating with a party in order to get the grassroots support, and the prime purpose of a primary is for parties to select the candidates they want to support. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE stated that his bill doesn't change this, it only changes the filing deadline to June 1 instead of August 1 for all candidates. Number 442 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN observed this bill puts all potential nonrecognized parties on the same playing field with the recognized parties and keeps candidates from getting "blind sided" after the primary because all candidates are known early on. He supports the bill. Number 458 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated he supports the bill, and asked if a closed primary would preclude the ability to pass a statute that any candidate receiving 51 percent in the primary would be declared the winner. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON cautioned that the primary often draws a small number of voters, and that would make it possible for a candidate to get 51 percent of the vote with only one-quarter of the voters. Number 482 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE agreed, adding that often in a primary election, only 18-20 percent of registered voters vote, especially in rural areas where people are fishing in the summer. He would be afraid of having the election outcome decided by 51 percent of 18 percent, essentially 9 percent of the registered voters. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER theorized that the lack of interest in the primary is because it doesn't affect the selection process very much, and if voters had to consider all primary candidates seriously, the turnout would be higher and more people would vote absentee. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE observed that, more than in any other state, Alaskans vote for the individual, and statistics show that if someone votes for a candidate in the primary, he or she will support that same candidate in the general election. The closed Republican primary can put Republican candidates at a disadvantage if they have a low number of votes in the primary. Number 530 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she would like to see everyone file in August so the whole process would be shortened, in some future bill. CHAIR JAMES agreed that the process is too long and too expensive, and suggested one general election with a run-off as opposed to a primary and a general election. Number 543 DAVID KOIVUNIEMI, acting Director, Division of Elections, responded to Representative Porter's question by stating that the constitution requires the Governor and Lt. Governor to be elected at a general election, even if they got 51 percent of the votes in the primary, and that maybe it would only require a change in the names of the election. For the record, he stated that the Division of Elections has a neutral position on HB 132, and that it would have no fiscal impact. He pointed out that the bill could create some interesting combinations during the general election, for example a candidate for Governor who did not designate a political party could be teamed with a candidate for Lt. Governor who also did not designate a party, but the two could be philosophically and politically opposite. But he stated that is their choice, and they could avoid it by designating a political group. Number 578 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said he's gone through the process twice as an Independent, and it is not easy. He said he did not want to sound self-serving, but he asked Dave to explain the process of what this bill would require of someone wanting to run as an Independent. MR. KOIVUNIEMI answered that he would have to do exactly the same thing as he currently does, though the filing deadline would change from August 1 to June 1. He would still have to get signatures on his petition from one percent of the registered voters who voted in the last election, but he would appear on the ballot twice, in the primary and the general elections. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS stated that it would make it easier if he were required to be on the primary ballot, because people get confused when they think he is running, but don't see his name on the primary ballot. Number 615 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE reiterated that the only difference for an Independent candidate would be the filing deadline of June 1 and the appearance on two ballots instead of one, and all candidates would fall under the same APOC reporting requirements which serves the best interest of the public. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said this is true for all legislative candidates, but candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor each would have to file a petition. Currently the Governor just designates a Lt. Governor on the same petition, and this is deleted by HB 132, so instead of 2,167 signatures on one petition they would have to get that number on two petitions. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said he believes this is good because each candidate should have to be dedicated enough to get these signatures. Number 659 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS asked for an explanation of how the different parties are categorized, and asked if all unrecognized parties would be put under the banner of Independents. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE replied no, that only those parties with the exact same names would be lumped together. This is the same as current law. Number 675 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted that although there is a zero fiscal note the bill has a Finance Committee referral. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said the bill has an automatic Finance Committee referral and will have to go there since the bill creates a major policy change and needs to be scrutinized by the Finance Committee. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved that HB 132 be moved out of committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. Hearing no objection, the motion passed. CHAIR JAMES announced the next meeting would be a joint confirmation hearing Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. with Senate State Affairs in the House Finance Committee room. Number 700 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the meeting at 11:45 p.m.