Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/14/1995 08:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
JOINT SENATE AND HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEES February 14, 1995 8:05 a.m. SENATE STATE AFFAIRS MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Bert Sharp, Chair Senator Loren Leman Senator Randy Phillips SENATE STATE AFFAIRS MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Jim Duncan Senator Dave Donley HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS 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 HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR Confirmation Hearings for: Margaret Pugh, Commissioner Designee of Corrections Pete Hallgren, Personnel Board Ronald Otte, Commissioner Designee of Public Safety Mark Boyer, Commissioner Designee of Administration HB 83:"An Act relating to state implementation of federal statutes." HEARD AND HELD HSTA - 02/14/95 *HB 127:"An Act increasing the minimum term of imprisonment for assaults in the fourth degree committed against a peace officer, fire fighter, correctional officer, emergency medical technician, paramedic, ambulance attendant, or other emergency responders." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HSTA - 02/14/95 *HB 90:"An Act changing the date that the legislature convenes in the years following a gubernatorial election." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HSTA - 02/14/95 *HB 130:"An Act relating to agency review of public comment on the adoption, amendment, and repeal of regulations; relating to the examination of proposed regulations, amendments of regulations, and orders repealing regulations by the Administrative Regulation Review Committee and the Department of Law; relating to the submission to, and acceptance by, the lieutenant governor of proposed regulations, amendments of regulations, and orders repealing regulations; and requiring agencies to make certain determinations before adopting regulations, amendments of regulations, or orders repealing regulations." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HSTA - 02/14/95 *HB 30:"An Act relating to a dress code for public schools." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HSTA - 02/14/95 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 HSTA - 02/14/95 HJR 1: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to repeal of regulations by the legislature. SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER MARGARET PUGH, Commissioner Designee Department of Corrections 4500 Diplomacy Drive Suite 207 Anchorage, AK 99502 Telephone: 269-7400 POSITION STATEMENT: Interviewed by Committee PETE HALLGREN, Personnel Board Member Box 1203 Sitka, AK 99835 Telephone: 747-6909 POSITION STATEMENT: Interviewed by Committee RONALD OTTE, Commissioner Designee Department of Public Safety 450 Whittier Street Juneau, AK 99811 Telephone: 465-4362 POSITION STATEMENT: Interviewed by Committee MARK BOYER, Commissioner Designee Department of Administration 10th Floor State Office Building Juneau, AK 99811 Telephone: 465-2200 POSITION STATEMENT: Interviewed by Committee ALLEN KINGMAN, Legislative Aide Representative Scott Ogan Alaska State Legislature Room 409, Capitol Building Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: 465-3878 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 83 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 83 SHORT TITLE: REVIEW OF FEDERALLY MANDATED PROGRAMS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) OGAN, Porter, Kohring, Toohey, James, Kelly JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/95 42 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/16/95 42 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 42 (H) WTR, STA, JUD 01/25/95 136 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING, TOOHEY 01/27/95 162 (H) COSPONSOR(S): JAMES 01/31/95 (H) WTR AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 408 01/31/95 (H) MINUTE(WTR) 02/03/95 242 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KELLY 02/08/95 268 (H) WTR RPT CS(WTR) 3DP 4NR 02/08/95 269 (H) DP: PHILLIPS, WILLIAMS, BARNES 02/08/95 269 (H) NR: KUBINA, G.DAVIS, MULDER, MACKIE 02/08/95 269 (H) 8 FISCAL NOTES (GOV, DCRA, F&G, DHSS) 02/08/95 269 (H) (LAW, DPS, REV, DOTPF) 2/8/95 02/08/95 269 (H) 9 ZERO FN (ADM, DCED, DOC, DOE, DEC) 02/08/95 269 (H) (F&G, LABOR, DNR, DM&VA) 2/8/95 02/08/95 269 (H) REFERRED TO STA 02/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519 BILL: HB 127 SHORT TITLE: 120-DAY JAIL: ASSAULT ON OFFICERS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/27/95 156 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/27/95 156 (H) STA, JUD, FIN 02/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519 BILL: HB 90 SHORT TITLE: CONVENING LEGISLATURE AFTER GOV ELECTION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS, Foster, MacLean, Mackie, Nicholia, Elton, Finkelstein, Robinson, Davies, Kubina, James, Toohey 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 02/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519 BILL: HB 130 SHORT TITLE: REGULATION ADOPTION PROCEDURES & REVIEW SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/27/95 157 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/27/95 157 (H) STA, JUD, FIN 02/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519 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 02/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519 BILL: HJR 4 SHORT TITLE: USE OF INITIATIVE TO AMEND CONSTITUTION 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 02/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519 BILL: HJR 1 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL OF REGULATIONS BY LEGISLATURE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PHILLIPS,Rokeberg,Brice,Green JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 16 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/16/95 16 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 16 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 01/18/95 73 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 02/07/95 (H) MINUTE(ARR) 02/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-15, SIDE A Number 000 SENATOR BERT SHARP, Chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee, called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m. and announced that the purpose of the joint meeting was to hold confirmation hearings for Margaret Pugh as Commissioner of Corrections; Pete Hallgren, Personnel Board; Mark Boyer as Commissioner of Administration; and Ron Otte as Commissioner of Public Safety. Number 034 MARGARET PUGH, Commissioner Designee of Corrections, introduced herself. SENATOR SHARP noted the committee had copies of Commissioner Pugh's resume and asked the committee if there were any questions for her. Number 054 SENATOR LOREN LEMAN asked about the Cleary Settlement and how Commissioner Pugh saw her department dealing with the mandates which resulted. COMMISSIONER PUGH replied she did not have a copy of the report but had been discussing methods for lowering the cost of incarceration in Alaska. SENATOR LEMAN said he would get her a copy of the hearing tapes. Number 110 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN said his son had asked why prisoners have cable television and weight rooms when prison is supposed to be a punishment, and stated the public often perceives punishment for criminals is not difficult enough. He stated he was very impressed with the Point MacKenzie facility and asked Commissioner Pugh if she were supportive of this project and whether she believed prisoners should continue to be used to upgrade the assets of the farm project there. Number 169 COMMISSIONER DESIGNATE MARGARET PUGH said she believed the program was viable and should be continued, but that expansion of the project depended upon resources available. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated he was impressed with how motivated the residents were to stay there and learn skills. Number 199 CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES said she would like to hear Commissioner Pugh's basic philosophy of corrections and crime control, and her intent regarding cooperation with the legislature as they try to solve these problems. Number 219 COMMISSIONER PUGH said she has every intention to cooperate and she looks forward to continuing work with the budget subcommittee. She stated she believes that corrections is an integral but often neglected part of the criminal justice system and it exists to enhance the public safety of Alaskans. She added that, though the department has very little control over who enters the system, she believes there is an obligation to try to make them productive citizens when they get out. Number 270 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER commented that the monumental supplemental budget from Corrections is because the previous Administration told the previous commissioner to spend at the budget level, not the appropriation level. He noted this is not a good policy to continue, and asked how the Cleary fines will be handled. Number 285 COMMISSIONER PUGH stated this is still being decided. Plaintiffs are making a case that fines should be used for inmates, and the department is arguing that the funds should be returned to the department for general budget purposes. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER observed many legislators would be disappointed if the money went into a "Prisoners Benevolent Fund" or something similar. COMMISSIONER PUGH stated it was not the department's position to create such a fund. Number 295 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted management problems have resulted because there is no "middle-management" level, in the Department of Corrections, to implement policy and asked if this might be changed. COMMISSIONER PUGH said she would like to change this if funds can be made available, and noted there is not much infrastructure in the department, decisions go directly from policy level to practitioner level, and this needs her immediate attention. Number 333 SENATOR SHARP asked Commissioner Pugh if she were represented by a union and what her status in the union would be as a commissioner. COMMISSIONER PUGH replied she was not represented by a union the past four years since she was a legislative employee, and the five years prior to that she was in the exempt category. Number 346 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN discussed shipping prisoners out of state as a method of saving money, and asked Commissioner Pugh's plans for this or other methods of saving funds. COMMISSIONER PUGH replied she viewed shipping prisoners to Arizona as a stop-gap measure, and she thought this should be an introspective year for the department aimed at developing a comprehensive plan of dealing with the growing inmate population. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked for her personal opinion about shipping prisoners out of state. Number 390 COMMISSIONER PUGH said she would prefer Alaska to be able to meet its own needs and added it is not good for inmates to be away from their own communities and cultures because it makes reintegration more difficult when they are released. She added development of larger facilities in the more populated areas would decrease the per prisoner, per day cost. Number 439 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN recommended hiring several liaisons, for different regions, who would be more aware of cultural organizations, needs, and problems. COMMISSIONER PUGH replied she is currently interviewing for the position of Rural Coordinator to fulfill just such a role, for all rural areas of the state. Number 472 SENATOR SHARP pointed out he has encountered much dismay with probation officers "playing phone tag" with prisoners instead of contacting them in person, because of a serious backlog. He believes "the worst of the worst" convicted felons are out on parole, and if anything we ought to keep track of them visually, as often as possible. COMMISSIONER PUGH said she had recently appointed Linda Zaugg as Director of Community Corrections to deal with this problem. Number 503 SENATOR SHARP said he had heard in Fairbanks that the correctional facility had a partial wing being used just for storage, which could accommodate 10 to 15 more inmates, and asked that this be checked out. He added he heard one wing of Spring Creek Prison still had only single occupancy, when money had been appropriated to double bunk some of those cells. Number 517 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON said since juvenile waivers began, there has been a 200 percent increase in the number of juveniles going into adult facilities, and asked what problems this has created. COMMISSIONER PUGH replied we are just beginning to see juveniles sentenced under last year's law and the number will increase. She added having juveniles in adult facilities is a problem, because they are more likely to be victimized, and because they have less impulse control than adults so dealing with them requires a different structure. She suggested separate wings to house them, and mentioned aging inmates present a different set of problems. Number 560 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON inquired about women in detention and the potential for another suit similar to the Cleary suit. COMMISSIONER PUGH said there had been no resolution; the Cleary suit had called for separate facilities for women offenders by 1994, and obviously that has not occurred. She added that women say they do not get the jobs or the activities available to men, and this has not been addressed satisfactorily either. SENATOR SHARP thanked Commissioner Pugh and suggested moving on to the next candidate. Number 589 PETE HALLGREN, Member of the Personnel Board, testified via teleconference. CHAIR JAMES asked for comments from Mr. Hallgren about why he wants this position. MR. HALLGREN replied that, as his resume states, he has been involved in government for the past 20 years and is very interested in the process; he enjoys the process and the public service. Number 605 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked for an explanation as to why the committee was reviewing this candidate when Mr. Hallgren's name had not been sent down by the Governor's Office for confirmation. SENATOR SHARP replied Mr. Hallgren's name had been read across in the Senate and he was instructed to have hearings. Number 611 SENATOR LOREN LEMAN noted Mr. Hallgren had been admitted to the Sitka Tribal Bar, and referred to a statement made recently by a candidate for a commissioner position regarding the cultural ignorance and racial bias of the Supreme Court. He asked if Mr. Hallgren had made the same observations of the Alaska court system. MR. HALLGREN said he did not know; he had seen many changes over the years in Native self-determination, and the Sitka Tribal Court was a pioneer effort. He added it was a growing process. Number 630 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN commented Mr. Hallgren was chairman of the Republican Party and asked if he planned to continue with this affiliation. MR. HALLGREN replied his confirmation to the Personnel Board would not determine whether he continued with his party position. He added he had not run for the position, and his continuing in that capacity would depend on how well he did the job. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if there would be a conflict for his time. MR. HALLGREN said there is always a conflict for his time, and he has the privilege of being involved in a lot of things. Number 654 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS asked what the Personnel Board does. MR. HALLGREN replied the board was set up prior to state employees becoming predominantly unionized, so it does not deal with employees who fall under collective bargaining units. He continued the Personnel Board deals with about 1,200 non-unionized employees, they approve and disapprove amendments to the personnel roles, consider recommendations for the classified service, and handle some ethics appeals. Number 670 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if Mr. Hallgren if he was currently sitting on the board. CHAIR JAMES said he had been appointed to the board in June, 1994. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Mr. Hallgren about a memorandum he had sent to the Republican Party of Alaska expressing concern over a resolution requesting the Congressional Delegation, Governor, and state Legislators to employ registered Republicans on their exempt staff. MR. HALLGREN replied the memorandum was one which came from the Republican Party at the state convention asking elected Republican legislators to hire registered Republicans as staff members. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Mr. Hallgren if he thought this should be a requirement on the state level. MR. HALLGREN replied Republican Party leaders should hire Republicans. TAPE 95-15, SIDE B Number 000 RONALD L. OTTE, Commissioner Designee, Department of Public Safety, introduced himself and said he had been involved in law enforcement in Alaska for 29 years. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated he had known Commissioner Otte for a number of years, had worked closely with him and was in favor of his appointment. Number 036 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Commissioner Otte what he had been doing for the year hiatus in his resume. COMMISSIONER OTTE explained he spent the time developing his own consulting business and visiting family. CHAIR JAMES commented she had extensive conversations with Commissioner Otte and any questions she had were already answered to her satisfaction. SENATOR SHARP asked when the Governor had appointed Commissioner Otte. COMMISSIONER OTTE said he started on December 19, 1994, and had been appointed a week prior to that, and had been on the job since then. Number 080 SENATOR SHARP asked Commissioner Otte if he had any experience in management audits. COMMISSIONER OTTE replied he had some experience investigating criminal audits. SENATOR SHARP questioned Commissioner Otte about the "wolf incident" of November 29, 1994, asking whether there had been any contact with the Governor or his staff after the original assignment directives regarding the investigation, up to the time of the transmittal of the draft to the Governor's Office. COMMISSIONER OTTE answered he had no conversations with the Governor. He added he had one conversation with the Governor's Chief of Staff to clarify exactly what focus he was looking for in the report. COMMISSIONER OTTE added his concern was that Public Safety not be put in a position to pass judgmental considerations as to whether the wolf and predator control was good or bad. He wanted to keep the department's involvement simply focused on the incident of November 29, and he reaffirmed this in his conversation with the Chief of Staff. Number 125 SENATOR SHARP asked Commissioner Otte if there were reviews, in oral or printed form, shared between him or any member of the Governor's staff, primarily Mr. Ayers, Mr. Ramser, or the Governor, regarding any of Public Safety's findings in the three or four drafts done in his department. COMMISSIONER OTTE answered there were none by him, but while he was out of town Deputy Commissioner Smith spoke with the Chief of Staff about the report and took it to the Department of Law to insure there would be no problem in releasing it. He was aware of no discussions prior to that. SENATOR SHARP said he wondered what motivated Commissioner Otte or his staff to proceed through three or four editing processes which continually narrowed the focus of the final report and disregarded or completely reversed many of the findings enumerated in the initial draft report. Number 150 COMMISSIONER OTTE answered neither Deputy Commissioner Smith nor himself wrote that report. He added they tried to provide direction to the investigators working on the report to assure they understand what Public Safety's "marching orders" were from the Governor's Office in terms of what the report should address. He added he wanted to be sure Public Safety was not put in a position to take a stand on predator or wolf control and he tried to keep them focused on November 29, to determine what went wrong and why the incident appeared as it did. Number 170 SENATOR SHARP thanked Commissioner Otte for taking time to meet with him the previous Saturday and said he had "blown away a lot of smoke and established a comfort level" with the wolf incident investigation. He asked whether the Governor's original directive regarding the scope and the focus of the project was in writing. COMMISSIONER OTTE answered he wanted to be sure he understood the directive so he sent a memo to the Governor's office on what his department felt the scope of their review should be. When the Governor released his press release, many of the points identified in that memo were included, so the department used the Governor's news release as their guide on the project. SENATOR SHARP requested the original memorandum or written instructions be made available to him, and said using press releases for a guide is dangerous. He added he appreciated the openness of Commissioner Otte and his staff to discuss and provide information. Number 204 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he too had conversations with Commissioner Otte and, therefore, did not have many questions. He commented the Department of Public Safety was spread over a large area in its responsibility to keep law and order and asked that Commissioner Otte attempt to strengthen the Village Public Safety Officer Program. SENATOR SHARP asked who in the Department of Law had reviewed the wolf incident report before it was sent to the Governor and whether any changes had been requested. COMMISSIONER OTTE answered he believed the Deputy Commissioner had taken the report to Laurie Otto, and that no changes were made and there were no instructions to make changes. He had the Deputy Commissioner pick up that document personally when Department of Law had indicated the document contained nothing to preclude it from becoming public. Number 236 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN stated he had also talked extensively with Commissioner Otte about this issue and appreciated his openness and willingness to keep an open door, adding Commissioner Otte had an excellent reputation in his district. Number 263 SENATOR SHARP thanked Commissioner Otte and suggested moving on to the next candidate, Mark Boyer. MARK BOYER, Commissioner Designee of Administration, testified via teleconference, saying he had been on the job since December 19. He said he had not been actively involved with the Governor's campaign though he supported his candidacy. He had left his position as City Manager of Fairbanks November 1, due to a difference regarding contract terms and was contacted by the Governor after the election. He said the Governor felt his experience bargaining with Unions would be valuable. Number 312 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Commissioner Boyer if he thought the average wages and benefits of state employees were high, low, or about right. COMMISSIONER BOYER replied he now had a recently-completed survey to verify his opinion that generally state employees enjoy higher wages than their counterparts in other governments or the private sector. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked whether Commissioner Boyer thought the number of represented employees compared to the total of state employees was high, low, or about right. COMMISSIONER BOYER answered he sensed the state is over managed and he would be reviewing this, but a simple 10 percent or 15 percent cut would not be adequate. He added that there is a need for an "aggressively down-sized state work force." Number 361 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said his question was aimed at the percentage of the number represented versus the number not represented, not at the total number of the work force. COMMISSIONER BOYER replied there are roughly 2,500 state employees not represented out of a total of about 19,000, so clearly the vast majority of state employees are represented by one of the eleven bargaining units. This poses a level of frustration to any new Administration because existing employees are already represented by binding contracts. Number 387 SENATOR LEMAN asked if the salary survey also included benefits. COMMISSIONER BOYER said it did, in fact the bulk of the report deals with job class comparisons, including wages and all benefits. SENATOR LEMAN referred to Senator Stevens' report from the bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, adding he believes the Alaska condition is comparable to the federal condition in terms of the long-range outlook, except Alaska will probably be in deep trouble sooner. He asked Commissioner Boyer if he could support the idea of changing Alaska's retirement system to use defined contribution versus defined benefit for new hires. COMMISSIONER BOYER said he was familiar with the argument between defined contribution versus defined benefit, and was encouraging his staff to be creative and expansive in bringing down the cost of wages and benefits. Number 440 SENATOR LEMAN asked Commissioner Boyer if he had any change to investigate the state procurement code to bring down the cost of state purchasing. COMMISSIONER BOYER replied he had not had time to focus any energy on procurement, but he did have a director of General Services in place and planned to begin a review process. He referred to a list comparing current state purchase contracts with prices at Costco, showing some items cost one-third of what is currently being paid, and said this is a very high priority. Number 476 CHAIR JAMES referred to Commissioner Boyer's earlier statement that he supported employees' rights to have a bargaining unit, and his subsequent statement that as an administrator, it is difficult to negotiate because of so many binding contract units. She continued that although she supports private industry employees rights to bargaining, she believes at a state level it interferes with the legislature's rights to appropriate money for specific jobs and with the people's rights to make decisions although they are the payors. She asked Commissioner Boyer whether he believed it was in the best interest of the public to allow bargaining units to be set up within municipal, city, and state governments. Number 500 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied he had previously believed the Public Employees Relations Act should apply to local governments and school districts. He added this is not an area available to him in his current position. He continued he believed in employees' rights to collectively bargain and there should be finality in that bargaining process, and he is an aggressive proponent of the right to strike as a benefit to both employers and employees. COMMISSIONER BOYER continued he believes the legislature does have its rights protected with regard to financing wages and benefits by it prerogative to appropriate. CHAIR JAMES asked Commissioner Boyer if he saw a difference in collective bargaining between the wages and benefits portion versus the issues of fairness and non-discrimination. COMMISSIONER BOYER replied they are two different areas, referred to as mandatory terms and conditions of bargaining. He said he is entrusted to uphold the law and the constitution of Alaska in bargaining in good faith given the available tools. Number 532 SENATOR SHARP asked if any major programs in his department will be changed, particularly longevity bonus and pioneer homes. COMMISSIONER BOYER said he agreed with phasing out the Longevity Bonus Program and supports that effort. With regard to pioneer homes, he noted they have been changing to an assisted living model which saves money and staffing and he will be looking at combining facilities to achieve economies of scale. SENATOR SHARP thanked Commissioner Boyer and asked for a motion to move these nominations from committee. Number 574 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS moved the committee adopt a letter confirming appointments of Mark Boyer as Commissioner of Administration, Ron Otte as Commissioner of Public Safety, Peter Hallgren to the Personnel Board, and Margaret Pugh as Commissioner of Corrections, with individual recommendations. There were no objections from Senate members, and it was so ordered. The Senate members were dismissed. Number 585 CHAIR JAMES asked for a motion from the House members, noting such a motion would in no way be a recommendation to vote for or against the proposed candidates. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved the four nominations be moved from committee. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON requested each candidate be considered separately. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN withdrew his motion. Number 596 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to forward Margaret Pugh's name to a joint session for consideration as Commissioner of the Department of Corrections. Hearing no objection, the motion passed. Number 604 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved to forward Peter Hallgren's name to a joint session for consideration for the Personnel Board. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON objected on the basis that the Governor had not submitted Mr. Hallgren's name to the legislature for consideration. CHAIR JAMES noted she had in her office a legal opinion stating Mr. Hallgren was appointed by the previous Governor and the Legislature had the right to confirm him, and she said she would make that legal opinion available. She called for a vote. Representatives Green, Ivan, Porter, Ogan, and James voted "yes." Representatives Robinson and Willis voted "no." The motion passed. Number 627 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that Ron Otte's name be forwarded to a joint session for consideration for Commissioner of Department of Public Safety. Hearing no objection, the motion passed. Number 630 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS moved that Mark Boyer's name be forwarded to a joint session for consideration for Commissioner of Department of Administration. Hearing no objection, the motion passed. Number 633 CHAIR JAMES called for a brief break. She called the meeting back to order at 9:40 a.m. HSTA - 02/14/95 CSHB 83 - REVIEW OF FEDERALLY MANDATED PROGRAMS The next order of business was HB 83. REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN testified as sponsor of House Bill 83. He read his sponsor statement: "I have introduced HB 83 as a companion bill to HJR 8, "A Resolution relating to mandates and other conditions imposed on the states by the federal government." Whereas the Resolution articulates the resolve of the citizens of this state to stand against further attempts by the federal government to encroach upon our autonomy and rights as a state under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this bill provides a simple and practical modality for taking that stand." He added the bill requires commissioners and agency heads to scrutinize unfunded mandates through the Office of Management and Budget to find out if they are constitutional. A review would occur every four years under each new Administration. The bill directs them to look for more cost effective ways to implement the mandate, negotiate with the federal government, or sue the federal government based on the Tenth Amendment states' powers. He continued there have been no studies as to what unfunded mandates cost, but Anchorage estimates by the year 2000 the environmental mandates alone will cost the city of Anchorage almost $430 million. There is a fiscal note attached, and it is his hope the bill will save the state money. Number 683 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted there are numerous different bills dealing with this same subject and asked if they might be analyzed and possibly consolidated. TAPE 95-16, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR JAMES agreed such an evaluation needs to be done. She added the House Majority has the responsibility to determine which approach should go forward. HB 83 will next go to Judiciary and an analysis will be done then, and this bill must be judged on its own merit at this time and not in comparison with other bills. Number 022 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she had hoped all bills dealing with federal mandates could be studied in a subcommittee to create a uniform package. She asked Representative Ogan to explain further how his bill would affect federal mandates. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied his intent was to look, for example, at the Endangered Species Act and its affect on forest products. He continued the Brady Bill is another example of an unfunded federal mandate demanding costs be absorbed by local police forces. The bill would scrutinize such mandates to see whether the federal government is exceeding its powers by circumventing states Tenth Amendment powers and placing funding burdens on them. Each administration would have the chance to do this using their specific priorities. Number 094 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that municipal assemblies have similar discussions about what the state is doing to them. He asked how HB 83 would save the state money. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to page 3, lines 21 through 27 of CSHB 83(WTR) saying the review would determine whether the mandate is consistent with state policy and suited to the states' needs, would recommend ways in which the state program might be altered to more efficiently implement the federal mandate, and would determine the advisability of pursuing a legal challenge to the validity of the mandate. Hopefully, through a series of cost-effective adjustments and negotiations with the federal government, money could be saved. Number 145 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if Alaska challenged a mandate under this bill, would the state still be required to implement the mandate as the challenge went through the court system. CHAIR JAMES said that would require a legal response. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he was sure the answer was yes, that the federal law had supremacy over state law and would remain in effect during the time of a challenge. CHAIR JAMES added that is the issue, because many federal laws exceed their authority under the constitution. Number 179 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS asked how Representative Ogan envisioned the present Regulation Review Committee fitting into this. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded he did not know exactly how it would fit in, but that the Office of Management and Budget would review each program with the help of agency heads. CHAIR JAMES added that much of the states' distress with mandates comes not from the mandate itself but with the regulations propagated because of the mandate, and she sees a direct connection between this challenge to federal mandates and the need for regulation relief and reform. She noted a need also for an examination of duplication of services. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented that Alaska is joining several other states in this effort to challenge the federal government, and asked if the $700,000 cost would be born by Alaska alone and whether this would create a bias toward some of Alaska's sister states. He asked if this were a coordinated effort. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred the question to his aide Allen Kingman, who is licensed to practice law in Alaska, noting that Alaska has unique situations and may have to fight some battles alone but it is his intention to join with other states where there is common ground. Number 284 ALLEN KINGMAN, Legislative Aide to Representative Scott Ogan, stated he had been involved in drafting HB 83 from the beginning, and replied to Representative Green the bill simply provides a review process and does not make decisions on Alaska's ultimate actions on any mandate. He said it would be appropriate for Alaska to join with other states in suits, though looking at the appropriateness of mandates for Alaska in particular would be a singular effort. CHAIR JAMES reminded the committee the next meeting will be on teleconference regarding HB 105, and noted the sponsor of HB 130, which is similar to HB 105, is invited to participate. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if anyone would object to moving HB 83 from committee at this time. CHAIR JAMES replied that she objected, and she adjourned the meeting at 10:03 a.m.