Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/28/1995 08:06 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 28, 1995 8:06 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Scott Ogan, Vice-Chair Representative Joe Green Representative Ivan Representative Brian Porter Representative Caren Robinson Representative Ed Willis MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Scott Ogan COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 173: "An Act relating to reports by state agencies." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *SCR 4: Naming the Poet Laureate of Alaska. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HJR 1: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to repeal of regulations by the legislature. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 89: "An Act making a special appropriation to the principal of the permanent fund; and providing for an effective date." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HCR 11: Designating March 1995 as Sobriety Awareness Month, commonly referred to as "SAM." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 163: "An Act requiring an agency to provide compliance cost estimates for proposed regulations, amendments, and repeals of regulations under certain circumstance." HEARD AND HELD (* First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 420 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2693 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 173 DANITH WATTS, Budget Analyst Office of Management and Budget Office of the Governor 240 Main Street, Suite 202 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4698 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 173 KRAG JOHNSEN, Intern for Senator Loren Leman Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 113 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2095 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided Sponsor Statement for SCR 4 KYLE PARKER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Gail Phillips Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 208 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2689 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided Sponsor Statement for HJR 1 REPRESENTATIVE TERRY MARTIN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 502 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3783 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 89 DEBORAH OSTENDORF, Legislative Secretary to Representative Irene Nicholai Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 501 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4527 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided Sponsor Statement for SCR 11 ROD MOURANT, Administrative Assistant Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 432 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3777 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 163 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant Office of the Commissioner Department of Health and Social Services 350 Main Street, Room 229 PO Box 110601 Juneau, AK 99811-0601 Telephone: (907) 465-3030 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 163 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 173 SHORT TITLE: REPORTS TO THE LEGISLATURE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) G.DAVIS, Navarre, Toohey, Finkelstein, Bunde, Rokeberg, Brown, James, Phillips, Kott JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/10/95 302 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/10/95 302 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 02/13/95 343 (H) COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY, FINKELSTEIN, BUNDE 02/13/95 343 (H) COSPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG, BROWN 02/15/95 396 (H) COSPONSOR(S): JAMES 02/23/95 469 (H) COSPONSOR(S): PHILLIPS 02/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/23/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/27/95 511 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOTT 02/28/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: SCR 4 SHORT TITLE: POET LAUREATE OF ALASKA SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) LEMAN, Halford, Duncan, Zharoff, Taylor, Green, Torgerson; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Toohey, Navarre JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/20/95 58 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/20/95 58 (S) STATE AFFAIRS 01/31/95 (S) STA AT 03:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/02/95 (S) STA AT 03:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/02/95 (S) MINUTE(STA) 02/03/95 159 (S) STA RPT 4DP 02/03/95 159 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOE) 02/07/95 (S) RLS AT 11:40 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 02/07/95 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 02/09/95 219 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 2/9/95 02/09/95 223 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 02/09/95 223 (S) COSPONSOR(S): HALFORD, DUNCAN, ZHAROFF, 02/09/95 223 (S) TAYLOR, GREEN, TORGERSON 02/09/95 223 (S) PASSED Y19 N- E1 02/09/95 226 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 02/10/95 290 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/10/95 290 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 02/10/95 322 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): TOOHEY, NAVARRE 02/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/23/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/28/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 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 02/14/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/23/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/28/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 89 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: TO PERMANENT FUND PRINCIPAL SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN, James JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/17/95 51 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/17/95 51 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/23/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/28/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HCR 11 SHORT TITLE: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH: MARCH 1995 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) NICHOLIA, Grussendorf, Robinson, Navarre, Elton JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/15/95 368 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/15/95 369 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 02/22/95 455 (H) COSPONSOR(S): ELTON 02/28/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 163 SHORT TITLE: COMPLIANCE COST ESTIMATES REQUIRED SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT, Toohey, Kelly, MacLean JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/08/95 272 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/08/95 272 (H) STA, FIN 02/22/95 456 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KELLY, MACLEAN 02/28/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-22 SIDE A Number 001 The State Affairs Committee meeting was called to order at 8:06 a.m. by Chair James. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Green, Porter, Robinson, Willis, Ivan and James. CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES said the record should reflect that Representatives Ivan and Ogan were at a Finance Subcommittee meeting for Fish and Game. They told her they would be available when needed. HSTA - 02/28/95 HB 173 - AN ACT RELATING TO REPORTS BY STATE AGENCIES Number 024 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS came before the committee to present HB 173, with fiscal notes, which he passed to committee members. He stated that it is a simple bill, and he thinks it is a better way. Currently, every bill and every statute that comes before the legislature says that each agency, committee, or commission, or department, will provide a copy of their annual report to the governor and legislature. So, that is what they do. Representative Davis thought it would be appropriate to notify the legislature that a report is available, which will provide a reduction in the material that flows through a legislator's office. Currently, state agencies are required by statute to prepare over one hundred annual, biannual, and other reports for automatic submission to every legislator, whether or not the legislator has a concern about the report. HB 173 will require state agencies to notify the legislature when reports are available. This would cut costs. Number 118 CHAIR JAMES asked why they didn't get a negative fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said he did not know why. He stated he had a sheet on it, and also a copy of all the reports that state agencies need to provide. He felt there should be a negative fiscal note. CHAIR JAMES also wondered how the copies of these reports would be stored. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS visualized something like 15 or 20 copies of the reports that they would keep available, and they can make more as the supply is reduced. There is a considerable amount of money put out for printing, and he feels this legislation will reduce the cost. CHAIR JAMES added that some reports are very professionally done, and a certain numbers would probably have to be printed each time. Number 198 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN said there are usually two or more costs for printing. There is a per-unit cost, which goes down as the volume goes up. If one thousand is the breaking point, then you save money by printing more at one time. If you guess short and have to go back and reprint some copies, the cost will be considerably higher. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said some departments do things differently, and costs vary. For instance, Alaska Public Offices Commission, Department of Administration, must prepare forms and manuals of instruction for use by persons required to make reports under the Campaign Disclosure, Conflict of Interest and Lobbying Laws. The completed forms are made available to the public. The cost of printing is $12,645. REPRESENTATATIVE CAREN ROBINSON expressed her support of HB 173, but she suggested that, instead of the departments sending individuals a copy of their reports, they send a list of the available reports. Legislators could recycle by distributing reports to libraries around their districts and communities. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS thought her idea was good. He said that would not be a legal call, but rather a policy call. It would not have to be in statute. Number 271 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES added that reports should be put on computer to reduce the amount of paper-packing. With the technology today, it is ridiculous that we have all this paper. If the reports were on computer they could be read on the screen, and, if desired, printed out. Number 313 DANITH WATTS, Budget Analyst, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Governor, testified on HB 173, saying that the Governor's Office is "Certainly for the concept of less paper floating around." She did not have a fiscal note because it is very difficult at this point to calculate what the cost would be. They know this legislation will not cost anything, which is why they put the fiscal note at zero. It could very well turn out to be a negative fiscal note in the long run. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked about the average number of copies that our 60 legislators might print. Ms. Watts could not give her a figure; it would depend on the size and number of the reports. Number 370 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS moved to pass the bill out of committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, it was so moved. HSTA - 02/28/95 Number 390 SCR 4 - POET LAUREATE OF ALASKA KRAG JOHNSEN, Intern from the University of Alaska Anchorage, was there to represent Senator Leman who sponsored SCR 4. This piece of legislation, which establishes the Poet Laureate of Alaska, is designed to act as a vehicle for confirming Mr. Thomas Sexton for Poet Laureate of Alaska. Mr. Sexton is a long-time Anchorage resident and a constituent of Senator Leman's. Mr. Sexton received his Masters Degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and upon his graduation he spent 24 years as a professor there. He recently retired with the title of "Emeritus Professor of English." His poetry has been published in journals across the U.S. and he has been included in four anthologies. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he was unfamiliar with the program and asked wondered how it works. He said he currently knows a person who received Poet Laureate, and this person is now being replaced, so this cannot be a lifetime appointment. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if Mr. Sexton is the only candidate and, also, how a person becomes a candidate for Poet Laureate. MR. JOHNSEN explained that Poet Laureate is selected and nominated on the basis of their talent, artistic excellence, and service to the community. He did not say if there were any other nominees. In Mr. Sexton's case, he was nominated by the Alaska State Counsel on the Arts. The appointment is a two-year term, which is confirmed every new legislative session. Senator Leman has set forth SCR 4 to name Mr. Thomas Sexton as Poet Laureate of Alaska. The legislature must confirm that appointment, for it is only through the legislative process that the Poet Laureate appointment can be confirmed. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS shared that the first Poet Laureate of Alaska was a Chugiak resident, and she is the grandmother of his staff- person, Bill Stoltz. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made a motion to move SCR 4 out of committee. There being no objections, the motion passed. HSTA - 02/28/95 Number 441 HJR 1 - REPEAL OF REGULATIONS BY LEGISLATURE KYLE PARKER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Gail Phillips, came to testify on HJR 1. He read the sponsor statement into the record: "This Joint Resolution is a proposal to place a constitutional amendment before the voters of the state of Alaska on the 1996 General Election ballot. The amendment would permit the Legislature to repeal regulations promulgated by state agencies that do not properly implement state statutes. "Many regulations do conform to and accurately implement the laws passed by the legislature; however, there are an increasing number of situations where regulations imposed on the citizens of the state do not. In many cases, legislative directives are ignored or regulations are promulgated that go far beyond the scope of what legislature intended. As you know, once regulations go into effect, they have all the force and effect of law. This is the case even though regulations are promulgated by agency bureaucrats who do not have to answer to the voters. "The Alaska Constitution provides a system of checks and balances among the three branches of government. The people of Alaska have their own check on government through the voting booth, the initiative process, and final authority over amendments to the Constitution. "However, one area that is beyond reasonable access to the people's voice is the tremendous volume of administrative regulations that are proposed by state agencies and written by attorneys at the Department of Law. These regulations affect every aspect of the peoples' lives. Yet the people are virtually powerless to change them. The constitution amendment proposed by HJR 1 would provide the people a reasonable avenue to seek the repeal of improper regulations. "I recognize that this issue has been before the voters three different times and prior efforts to persuade the voters to support similar amendments have failed. Nevertheless, I believe that with a better campaign presentation, clearer ballot language, and the current popular support for regulatory reform, we can see this constitutional amendment become a reality. Now, more than ever, Alaskans understand how regulations affect their daily lives and I believe they will support this ballot proposition that brings state regulations closer to the people. I urge your support of this important resolution." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented, saying if this is the case, and there will be a notification and education of the public to get a better knowledge, it will probably create a very positive attitude among the voters. He wondered if that should be reflected in the fiscal note. MR. PARKER stated that Senator Pearce introduced this bill last year in the Senate. He said Representatives Phillips and Pearce have committed to making the education process happen. The fiscal note was not changed last year. He was not certain how they envisioned carrying out the voter education. Mr. Parker said the last time this proposition was on the ballot was in 1986; since then the concept of regulatory reform has been raised in the people's consciousness and, this being the case, it will be an easier campaign. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wanted to know what happens if a regulation is adopted, which is based on a statute that has passed, but the regulation misses the mark. He asked if the regulation would have to be thrown out or if it would have to go back to the drafters. MR. PARKER said the intent is if regulations are promulgated which go beyond the intent of the enabling legislation, the legislature can be petitioned to revisit and repeal certain provisions of the regulation. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated there are things in the Constitution that need statutes for implementing the regulations. She suspects the constitutional amendment, by itself, would not give as much direction. We need statutes to say how these things would happen. Number 528 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said it would be appropriate to put on record the intent of this committee regarding this bill, which is that it will not be required to annihilate a whole regulation in order to remove one offensive sentence. Number 575 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if this legislation would be put in the repertoire of bills dealing with regulation reform. CHAIR JAMES said this bill would be moved forward because anything done, pertaining to regulation reform, would not be thwarted by this bill passing or not passing. The bottom line issues on regulation reform will be discussed in subcommittee. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON questioned how this would affect the separation of powers. MR. PARKER explained this goes to the point that Representative Green brought up about how far the legislature can go in writing regulations. He hoped he was clear in what the intent is behind the legislature being able to repeal. They would not be in the situation of rewording a sentence, they would be repealing the sections. That keeps them out of the regulatory writing process, which is an executive branch function. In protecting the legislative intent through this constitutional amendment, the legislature would have the power to go in and remove sections of the regulations that offend the intent of the enabling legislation. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON brought up the concealed weapon regulations as an example. The regulations have become law and are being implemented. So, now, if we decide there is something we do not like, she asked what the process would be to change it. MR. PARKER said it would be a resolution that would be passed by both bodies of the legislature. This constitutional amendment would allow the legislature to appeal through a resolution. It would not be a bill. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES added that there is a statute on the books that allows the legislature to annul regulation by resolution. This was challenged in court and was determined to be in violation of the constitution and the separation of powers. There are certain procedures for making statutes or laws, all which are enumerated in the constitution. The only way the legislature can make law is through statute by the current system. The Governor should be able to veto everything the legislature does that affects law. He cannot veto regulations, however; so, if the legislature were to make a law by resolution, the Governor would not have the opportunity to veto it. That is where the separation of powers issue came about. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if this bill would require a majority vote. CHAIR JAMES affirmed that it would require the majority vote. Actually, it would take a two-thirds vote to get out of the House. It would need a majority vote of the public. The language of this bill does not explain how all these things will be done, and such concerns ought to be put on the record if this is going to go forward. We must have backup that supports exactly what it is that we intend by this constitutional amendment. Number 619 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said he concurs about the importance of putting everything on the record. He recalled when he was in the other body years ago when he co-chaired State Affairs, they had a subcommittee that handled changing the motor vehicle law. It took about four years to do that, and after he was out of the legislature for almost ten years, a judge in Kenai called to ask about the intent of a particular section of the bill from that committee. Number 633 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES suggested we make a provision in the statute that sets a "sunset date" on regulations, and then by statute, the legislature has the option of either extending the date or not. That does not challenge the constitution, because the Governor has the ability to veto it. Representative James' legislation will involve agencies, legislature and the public in the actual writing of regulations. Then it can be changed before it becomes final. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wanted to confirm, for the record, that the intent of this resolution is that it will apply to existing regulations as well as to new ones. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES assumed that if the legislature can veto regulations, they can veto any regulations. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved that HJR 1 be passed from committee with the attached fiscal note of $2,200, and with individual recommendations. There being no objections, it was so moved. HSTA - 02/28/95 HB 89 - APPROP: TO PERMANENT FUND PRINCIPAL Number 672 REPRESENTATIVE TERRY MARTIN, Sponsor of HB 89, presented his sponsor statement to the committee, as follows: TAPE 95-22, SIDE B HB 89 is straightforward and very important. The permanent fund earnings reserve account was created by statute. It is unto this account that the balance of the Permanent Fund Corporation's net income is deposited upon payment of dividends and inflation proofing. The intent of the bill is to deposit the approximately $1,146,000,000, as of June 30, 1995, into the corpus of the permanent fund, escalating the total to approximately $14,146,000,000. He felt they should save this revenue in the most secure account possible. The permanent fund is untouchable by the legislature, hence no special interests can infiltrate the fund and Alaskans will prosper in the future with a solid savings account yielding a return of almost nine percent this year. If the earnings reserve is not appropriated to the permanent fund corpus by July 1, 1995, there is a strong possibility the court may rule that it to be used as partial payback to the constitutional budget reserve (CBR). From this account, it can easily be spent with a simple majority of the House and Senate. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said HB 89 is intended to send a message to Alaska's public, that the legislature is willing and able to save money for future generations. While there are currently annual projected budget deficits, this legislation makes the statement that we are willing to deal with the situation through budgetary reductions or other means, but certainly not by spending these earnings - simply because they are there. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN told the committee that their support of this legislation will send a signal to the voters that we, as a body, recognize the fiscal crisis as well as the need to save for future shortfalls. Number 063 REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said this bill has to do with putting a large amount of money into a permanent savings account. The earnings of the permanent fund must be spent before they can get into the Constitutional Budget Reserve account. He voted to approve the CBR when it came up in the legislature years ago, and was recently asked if he would have approved the CBR had he known they would have to redo the inflation proof every year, or, by court decree, that money would have to go back, first, to pay the CBR off, which we will never be able to do. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said in 1999, it is computed that all the money that comes in the general revenue goes right to the CBR, because it will be automatic by then. If we were to pay the CBR today, of $1.4 billion that owed, it means $2.8 billion is a new account. Representative Martin says the CBR is inoperative, it is going to "be an albatross on the legislators, no matter who is in charge of the neck." Right now, his question was whether we should save or put the money into CBR. Some people say to take the "simple twenty-one" to spend it right now, then legislators can put it in the permanent fund corpus, or we can use it for this year's operation. We are about $5.6 million short of new revenues coming in. Representative Martin said he thinks we should save the money. This is not to be hard nosed about cutting the budget, but the idea that this is the future generation's money as well as ours. Once the state gets to a $20 billion permanent fund corpus, the state legislators will have more leeway of giving a generous amount in dividends to the citizens, to inflation proof, and still have enough money for the new flow to the revenues. Representative Martin said he was glad that Chair James became co-sponsor of the bill and urged the committee to get the bill off the table and save for future generations. The best solution is to put this money away before we lose it all. After July 1, of this year, we could lose it all, if the court rules that it must go in as payback to CBR. CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any questions. There being no further questions, she said the problem she had with the CBR is the three-quarter vote. Representative Martin spoke once before about the minority being in control, and Chair James said that a three- quarter vote is a minority vote. It puts the minority in charge. Of course, it is always presumed that the majority ought to be in charge. Chair James said she supports this legislation because she is unwilling to take the earnings reserve of the Permanent Fund, which is the excess earnings over and above the Permanent Fund Dividend Program and the inflation proofing, and then require only a minority vote for it to be spent. Also, because the earning reserve of the permanent fund is located in the permanent fund, as opposed to in the general fund, and managed much the same as the rest of the permanent fund dividend is, the people consider it part of the permanent fund. It is her feeling, therefore, that the legislature should make sure it is part of the permanent fund. The way to make it a certainty is to appropriate it to the permanent fund. The other option would be to allow this money to be spent with the three-quarter vote, or put it somewhere where it cannot be spent with any vote, except by the vote of the people. She said she supports that concept. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER agreed with Representative James, and wanted to add that another reason it should get off the table is that the appointed or soon to be appointed long range budget commission and the legislature, has to make some tough decisions while looking forward to our financial situation. Those decisions can be made sooner with this money off the table. Number 109 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to pass HB 89 out of committee, and there being no objections, the bill was so moved. HSTA - 02/28/95 Number 129 HCR 11 - SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH, MARCH DEBORAH OSTENDORF, Legislative Aide for Representative Irene Nicholia, came before the committee to testify on HCR 11. Ms. Ostendorf noted that HCR 11 designates the month of March as Sobriety Awareness Month. The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) wants to have the state to recognize those individuals who have pledged themselves to sobriety. If this resolution passes in a timely manner, AFN would like to have the resolution, along with the Governor's Proclamation and signatures of thousands of people from around the state who pledged themselves to sobriety, to be taken up the Iditarod Trail, which beings Sunday, March 5. REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER told the committee that last year, he had the pleasure of chairing an alcohol task force of the House. It gave him the opportunity to go around the state taking testimony pertaining to the substance abuse problem in Alaska. Of all of the approaches he knows of to deal with this seemingly insurmountable problem, this, he believes, is the best. He supports it wholeheartedly. REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON moved that HCR 11 be passed out of committee with individual recommendations a zero fiscal note. There being no objection, the motion passed. HSTA - 02/28/95 Number 191 HB 163 - COMPLIANCE ESTIMATE COST REQUIREMENTS ROD MOURANT, Administrative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott, came before the committee to present HB 163. This legislation would require an agency, when they are proposing new regulations, to present a cost compliance estimate with those regulations. Currently, when regulations are drafted, an agency completes a fiscal note on the cost of the regulation process, but no cost compliance estimate is prepared for a private sector impact. The committee member's packets includes a letter from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) supporting this concept. Eighty-three percent of their members support the concept. The original concept of this legislation was included in the 1995 Alaska Minerals Commission Report, as recommendation number four. The mining industry experiences the frustration of regulation without consideration of cost to the industry. Mr. Mourant said they have fiscal notes from all except for five agencies. The fiscal notes vary from zero to $178,000, the latter being from the Department of Environmental Conservation. This is for merely preparing the cost estimate for compliance with any regulation, not for compliance with regulation. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN liked the concept, but wondered if it would be possible for an individual to get a meaningful or accurate cost estimate regarding whatever regulation was being proposed. Number 261 MR. MOURANT answered that when an agency drafts regulations based on statute adopted by legislation signed into law, they determine who the constituency is first. Then they fashion the regulation to comply with the statute they are interpreting. At that time they should have an estimated idea of what the cost will be, for instance, the filing of a new tax forms, or the requirement to build a new ramp of access for handicapped persons. This, of course, only deals with the adoption of regulations, or the repeal of regulations. Number 274 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER followed up by saying he presumed this would force the agency to contact the affected people and get their estimate of these costs. MR. MOURANT agreed that it would certainly urge the agencies to talk with the affected constituency about the impact of the proposed legislation, or how the private industry interprets the proposed legislation. Number 280 CHAIR JAMES said she thought that evaluating the cost to our economy would be valuable, and also measuring what the cost benefit will be. They should be sure that what they do is worth the cost. Chair James wondered how specific they needed to be, because every time someone does "a finding," or does a report that backs up what they do, they must also create evidence for a lawsuit, in case someone doesn't like it. She liked the concept, but thought they should avoid being too specific and, thereby, try to do the lawyer's job for them. She said they also need to get a negative fiscal note on this bill. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS wondered if this was in place in Florida and if Mr. Mourant heard any feedback. CHAIR JAMES referred him to a research report from Florida, provided to them by the sponsor. A point made in the report was that they determined they needed that legislation, and they went so far as to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is very costly. CHAIR JAMES noted, for the record, that Representative Ivan was present. Number 340 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of Health and Social Services, said he was not at the meeting to speak for the Administration, but he had some conversations with colleagues in other departments and said his agency is one that submitted a zero fiscal note. They viewed it in relationship with other regulation bills on the table, specifically HB 130. It required an economic or detailed analysis, which they regarded as something that would require additional expertise and costs in their department, so, consequently, they viewed HB 163 as less costly. Some agencies looked at HB 163 and did not see the phrase "cost estimate" as self-defining, and thus regard it as being similar to the language in HB 130 that would require an economic analysis. The Executive Branch would need some guidance from the committee about what the intent of this is, and about the meaning of "cost estimate." Number 361 CHAIR JAMES mentioned receiving a package pertaining to regulations on subsistence living, and legislation that they passed last year. It was the Department of Administration and the Department of Health and Social Services regulations that covers both. She wanted to do an evaluation of those regulations and the statute to see how much duplication there is from the regulation to the statute. She is still looking for ways to streamline the process. Chair James feels if they saw the regulations before the they passed a statute, they might take another look at whether to do it. They need to think more thoroughly about what they are creating when they create these bills, and "take the blame" for the cost of implementing them. Number 395 MR. LINDSTROM said he also read the regulations and he recalled that there were about 50 pages. Most of the verbiage relates to licensing of homes and so forth. When you get into licensing, it is tricky. Number 401 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked what the cost of the regulation would be to the person who wants to be in a certain businesses. CHAIR JAMES said each agency has its own uniqueness in the kind of regulations they have. The Florida research report shows that the legislature made various levels of regulations, and refined it to say that some didn't need it, and some needed it more extensively. The decision had to be made about whether or not it was even necessary. Some regulations didn't apply. She thinks they should determine just how much policy should be in regulations. Her idea is that they ought to slim down the policy in the regulations. It is easier to change or slim down policy than to change or slim down regulations. CHAIR JAMES said if there were no more questions or comments they would put HB 163 with the other bills in the Regulation Review Committee. She stated that the committee has cleaned up all the bills, except for HB 81 on preventative maintenance. However, next Thursday she said we will use the next meeting time for the subcommittee on regulation reform. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 a.m.