Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/16/1996 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE January 16, 1996 8:00 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 All members present. COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HOUSE BILL NO. 382 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Dispensing Opticians; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 404 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 405 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Examiners in Optometry; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 71 "An Act relating to the location of the convening of the legislature in regular session; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 382 SHORT TITLE: EXTEND BOARD OF DISPENSING OPTICIANS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 12/29/95 2366 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2366 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2366 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 01/16/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 404 SHORT TITLE: EXTENDING BOARD OF CHIROPRACTORS SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/09/96 2392 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/09/96 2392 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 01/16/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 405 SHORT TITLE: EXTEND BOARD OF OPTOMETRISTS SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/09/96 2392 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/09/96 2392 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 01/16/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 71 SHORT TITLE: LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS TO BE IN ANCHORAGE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN, Porter, Bunde, Kohring JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 39 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/16/95 39 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 39 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/19/95 91 (H) COSPONSOR(S): BUNDE 01/12/96 2440 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING 01/16/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 WITNESS REGISTER WALTER WILCOX, Committee Aide House State Affairs Committee State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. CATHERINE REARDON, Director Division of Occupational Licenses Department of Commerce and Economic Development P.O. Box 110806 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0806 Telephone: (907) 465-2974 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. LARRY HARPER, Licensed Dispensing Optician 534 West 2nd Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 276-1021 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments on HB 382. DENNIS EGAN, Mayor City and Borough of Juneau 155 South Seward Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-5257 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 71. JAMIE PARSONS, Chair Alaska Committee 9218 Emily Way Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 789-3060 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 71. CHUCK ACHBERGER, Executive Director Juneau Chamber of Commerce 124 West 5th Avenue Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-6420 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 71. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 103 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4949 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments on HB 71. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-01, SIDE A Number 0000 The House State Affairs Committee was called to order by Chair Jeannette James at 8:00 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives James, Ogan, Ivan, Porter, Robinson, and Willis. Members absent were Green. CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES welcomed the committee members back and the audience to the first 1996 House State Affairs Committee meeting. She proceeded with housekeeping issues. Meeting times would be from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays, if necessary. Chair James declared the meetings would start and end on time. However, on Thursday, January 25, 1996, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate would be speaking at the Alaska Business Round Table at 7:00 a.m., therefore, the meeting would start at 8:15 a.m. She remarked a meeting may be extended in the event of a heavy schedule. She informed the committee teleconference testifiers would have a time limit and suggested a representative speak on behalf of a large group of testifiers, when possible. She further remarked the witness registers were located at the front door and all those who wished to testify must register. She stated each committee member would receive a committee packet. She informed the committee on Tuesday, January 23, 1996, there would be a joint state affairs committee meeting. Chair James further outlined the rules by which the committee would operate. Number 0510 CHAIR JAMES recognized the presence of Representative Joe Green. HB 382 - EXTEND BOARD OF DISPENSING OPTICIANS HB 404 - EXTENDING BOARD OF CHIROPRACTORS HB 405 - EXTEND BOARD OF OPTOMETRISTS Number 0529 The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. CHAIR JAMES said she prepared HB 382 and her Committee Aide, Walter Wilcox, was here to make the presentation. Number 0544 WALTER WILCOX, Committee Aide, House State Affairs Committee, read the sponsor statement for HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. House Bill 382 extended the board for four years, HB 404 extended the board for five years, and HB 405 extended the board for five years. Mr. Wilcox stated the boards were responsible for overseeing the licensing of doctors that were covered by the appropriate board. The board must be extended, he stated, if the doctors were to be licensed. He further stated the fiscal notes identified the cost of the programs which were included in the 1997 fiscal year operating budget, therefore new funds were not required. Mr. Wilcox informed the committee, concerns were raised in the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee regarding some of the boards of which legislation was forthcoming. Catherine Reardon, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing was here to answer any questions from the committee. Number 0597 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked Mr. Wilcox to share with the committee the concerns expressed in the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. MR. WILCOX said he would defer to Ms. Reardon to answer that question. Number 0611 CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Reardon to come forth and join them at the table for further discussion. She informed the committee members HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405 were grouped together because of their similarities, but they would vote on them separately. Number 0645 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, thanked Representatives James and Kott for introducing the three bills before them. She stated the boards were up for their scheduled "sunset period." The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee recommended extending all three boards, she stated. The fiscal notes were not new money the division would need, she asserted, but reflected the ongoing cost needed to run the programs. Ms. Reardon said, the issues brought forth in the "sunset" audits were relatively minor statute concerns. For example, the Board of Optometrists audit suggested the application deadline be regulated by department rather than by statute. The statute mandated that the application must be received 15 days before the examination causing administrative trouble in the department. It also suggested removing statute licensing requirements for branch offices, and finally, it recommended deleting some statute requirements due to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Board of Chiropractor Examiners audit suggested eliminating licensing reciprocity with other states. The Board of Dispensing Opticians audit suggested eliminating one of two statutes that addressed Alaska licensing requirements for those licensed in other states. The audit also suggested instituting a civil fine for practicing the field of opticianry without a license. In summary, she stated, the legislative audits were favorable towards the boards. Number 0975 CHAIR JAMES thanked Ms. Reardon and opened the floor up for discussion and questions. Number 0980 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON asked Ms. Reardon if the Administration would be making suggestions for changes or was it the responsibility of the legislature. Number 1000 MS. REARDON said the Administration agreed with all of the suggested changes as a result of the audits. However, the Governor did not intend to introduce legislation this year. The concentration was solely on extending the boards at this time. Number 1040 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 1045 REPRESENTATIVE SCOT OGAN asked if the boards had any judicial powers. Number 1062 MS. REARDON cited the Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors had the ability to fine up to $5,000 for unlicensed activity. However, the great majority of the boards did not have judicial power, she said. It was left to the court system burdened with perceived more serious cases. Ms. Reardon mentioned again the dispensing opticians audit recommended instituting a civil fine authority for that board. Number 1098 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments and thanked Ms. Reardon for her time. She called on the first teleconference participant in Anchorage, Larry Harper. Number 1114 LARRY HARPER via Anchorage, Licensed Dispensing Optician, testified and recommended to the committee the Board of Dispensing Opticians and the Board of Optometrists have the same "sunset" expiration date. Number 1175 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Wilcox to respond. MR. WILCOX said it was his understanding the intention was to stagger the expiration dates for the audit department's work load. He called on Ms. Reardon to respond further. Number 1198 MS. REARDON said it was her understanding it worked that way in prior years. She said the chiropractic extension could be adjusted, however. Number 1200 MR. WILCOX said there was no objection to making them all the same. Number 1211 CHAIR JAMES said, that would be up to the committee, and asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 1217 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Ms. Reardon to explain the makeup of the boards. Number 1242 MS. REARDON said there were five members on each board. The Board of Optometrists consisted of four licensed optometrists and one public member. The Board of Chiropractic Examiners consisted of four licensed chiropractors and one public member. The Board of Dispensing Opticians consisted of four opticians to include some licensed in contacts and some in spectacles, and one public member. The Board of Dispensing Opticians met one time per year to help keep expenses down, while the other two boards met twice a year. Teleconference meetings were arranged, when needed. Number 1350 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 1355 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER moved that HB 382 move from committee. Hearing no objection, HB 382 was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. Number 1375 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN said there was discussion about changing "2000" to "2001" for the Board of Dispensing Opticians. He asked if the decision was to leave it at "2000." Number 1380 CHAIR JAMES said it would remain as is because there was a motion made and no one objected. Number 1390 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that HB 404 move from committee. Hearing no objection, HB 404 was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. Number 1405 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that HB 405 move from the committee. Hearing no objection, HB 405 was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. HB 71 - LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS TO BE IN ANCHORAGE Number 1470 CHAIR JAMES announced the next item on the agenda was HB 71. She called on Representative Joe Green to present his sponsor statement. Number 1480 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN read the following sponsor statement. "HB 71 directs the legislature to meet in the Municipality of Anchorage beginning in January 1998. HB 71 does not, and I repeat, does not, propose to move the capitol. "A recent statewide survey, and the results of the 1994 ballot initiative, both indicated that there is considerable statewide support, and majority support in southcentral Alaskan area, for the legislature to meet in Anchorage. HB 71 directs the legislative council to arrange for an appropriate meeting place. Since the dimensions of the House chambers, the largest meeting body that we have in the legislature, are 60 feet by 52 feet, it is not anticipated that arranging for an appropriate meeting place would present much of a problem. "While credit should be given to the Alaska Committee for their efforts to make Juneau a better host to legislators and staff, their efforts can not overcome Juneau's remote geographical location. Navigational improvements at the airport, telecommunications infrastructure, and more available housing units will all make Juneau a better capitol city. However, none of these improvements will get the majority of legislators together in a majority with the voters." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asserted the setting today was biased. He suggested a meeting was in order in the Anchorage Bowl. In comparison to the capital move, he said, the legislative move did not impact the existing departments. He cited two of the larger departments which had more personnel in Anchorage than in Juneau. He stated the commissioners, the Governor, and others in the Administration were in Anchorage frequently. Representative Green described the alleged problems of separating the legislative session from the administrative session as a "red herring." He further stated while the strides in telecommunications media were great, it still behooved the legislature to associate more closely with the majority of the citizens of Alaska we enact laws for. Lastly, he informed the committee HB 71 was not a new bill as it was prefiled in 1995. The bill was not pushed, he asserted, due to deference of the Senate that tried to move a like bill last year. Number 1688 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments for the sponsor. Number 1695 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN referred to the fiscal notes from the Legislative Affairs Agency and the Governor's office. He questioned the $136,000 expenditure found on page 3 of the fiscal note addressing the cost of moving Juneau state agencies. Number 1725 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded the fiscal note Representative Ivan referred to was inflated. If there were to be an error, he stated, it would be an error on the higher side. He said, the need to move the agencies was overstated. The renovation of the capitol building and the cost of buying space in Anchorage were the two issues that inflated the cost of the bill. There was a one time cost, of renovation in Anchorage he explained, but that did not consider the relocation of legislators and the per diem expense. He said perhaps the per diem and personal irritations costs were inflated. Number 1790 CHAIR JAMES asked if Representative Green had calculated a fair fiscal note himself. Number 1798 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded he had but was not justified to present it because he was not an expert. His fiscal note would reflect the obvious expenditure savings, he stated. He further stated he anticipated a savings in the long run if the legislative session was moved to Anchorage. Number 1815 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 1816 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said Representative Green alluded there would not be any per diem for legislators if the session was in Anchorage. She stated legislators would get per diem in Anchorage as well as in Juneau. Number 1842 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded the per diem would be significantly less for those living within driving distance of the session. He said, it was hard to justify per diem for legislators living in the same community. He informed the committee this issue was being addressed in another bill. The per diem would be significantly reduced for half of the legislators and not reduced for the other half. Number 1870 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said, we were talking about $9.00. She commented it was not substantial. Number 1879 CHAIR JAMES questioned the $9.00 comment by Representative Robinson. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated it was about a $9.00 difference. Number 1879 CHAIR JAMES said Juneau Legislators got 75 percent of the current per diem of $148. Therefore, 25 percent of $148 was the difference. The total difference would be all of the legislators from the Anchorage Bowl if the legislative session was in Anchorage. Therefore, based on the current structure, the difference would be substantial. Number 1914 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented on the importance of the legislative aides and their families. They were not paid for relocation expenses creating a hardship. He curiously asked if a study had been done looking at the divorce rate amongst legislators and their aides. Representative Ogan said he brought his family to Juneau each session and was thankful for the stability it provided. He alluded the stability ultimately made him a better legislator so the fewer legislators and their families that had to relocate would create better government. Number 1980 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments. She called on the first witness for HB 71, Dennis Egan, Mayor, City and Borough of Juneau. Number 2015 DENNIS EGAN, Mayor, City and Borough of Juneau, said Juneau was being faced with an issue that would cause divisiveness and had a serious impact on the financial and social well being of the city. The move of the legislative session, he asserted, was tantamount to a capital move. Juneau, he stated, had faced this issue statewide eight times since statehood. Mayor Egan said this issue was debated in the Senate last year and was voted in favor of Juneau. He asserted, the main reason there was a critical housing shortage in Juneau, was due to the capital move "cloud" that had been hanging over the citizens for the past number of years. During the last capital move fight housing starts in Juneau were at a standstill. However, once the capital move was put to a rest, the community broke loose and housing unit starts skyrocketed. The threat of another capital move could do damage to the life of the community depending on how long this issue would stay at the forefront in the legislature. He further asserted the community's strides accomplished last year would be put on hold. Mayor Egan said the city of Juneau was working hard to make it a better capital city. He cited over $3,000,000 in projects that had been expended that directly related to making Juneau a better capital city. For example, $500,000 for legislative housing, $200,000 for increased access to the legislative process, $50,000 for a video bridge for video teleconferencing, $50,000 in increased readings at Juneau International Airport, and $15,000 for parking permits, had been expended. He further cited an attitudinal survey of Alaskans to determine their opinions on the capital city. The survey found 73 percent of Alaskans agreed with improving other areas in the state over moving the capital. He further said Representative Green's sponsor statement referred to "capitol" rather than "capital." Mayor Egan reassured the committee this issue was not about a building, but about the lives of your fellow Alaskans. In conclusion, he reminded the committee an issue such as HB 71 had the potential to devastate a city of 30,000 people, and enough was enough. Number 2202 CHAIR JAMES thanked Mayor Egan and called on Jamie Parsons, Chair, Alaska Committee. Number 2235 JAMIE PARSONS, Chair, Alaska Committee, a non-profit, private organization, said the committee turned proactive last year producing a mission statement to enhance Juneau as Alaska's capital city and to help make government work better for all Alaskans. The sole purpose, he stated, was to bring Alaskans closer to state government and government closer to Alaskans. He cited some of the committee's efforts, for example, five video teleconference sites in Juneau. Mr. Parsons further informed the goal of the committee was to make sure every community throughout the state had a video teleconference site in the future. This year, the Gavel to Gavel plan gave the opportunity to bring the legislative process to the classrooms, offices and homes of every citizen in the state. The City and Borough of Juneau committed $200,000 to underwrite the Gavel to Gavel program and also committed to two additional years of funding. The Alaska Committee was also working with the Administration to create an 800 Alaska help center telephone number to create a government information and referral system. Mr. Parsons further informed the committee, the City and Borough of Juneau had spent $50,000 to install wind reading equipment to enable the Global Positioning System (GPS) program to move forward. The Alaska Committee was also working closely with Alaska Airlines to improve flight scheduling during the legislative session. Mr. Parsons further said the Alaska Committee was looking at improving surface access to Juneau. Locally, they were working on the housing issue by recommending the elimination of red tape and the building permit inspection process by working with the City and Borough Assembly. The Assembly, he cited, recently spent $500,000 towards meeting seasonal and legislative housing needs. He lastly called on everybody to work together and make the existing infrastructure more effective, and collectively find ways to make all Alaskans feel they have some ownership in the legislative process. TAPE 96-01, SIDE B Number 0000 CHAIR JAMES called on Chuck Achberger, Executive Director, Juneau Chamber of Commerce. CHUCK ACHBERGER, Executive Director, Juneau Chamber of Commerce addressed the issue of the alleged biased environment by Representative Green. He asserted a motivated constituency would take advantage of the teleconference system. He cited examples of lengthy tort reform and resource testimony from constituents in Anchorage and other areas of Alaska using the teleconference system to get their views heard. The Anchorage constituents were not as motivated as Representatives Green and Porter believed, he said, otherwise they would have called in via teleconference today. He further stated the fiscal estimates were not on the low side. A move would be very expensive, he stated. Mr. Achberger lastly asserted the commute was not favorable to many people even living in the Anchorage Bowl. In conclusion he said Juneau had made a lot of progress and if given a few more years the city could make it even more comfortable. Number 0169 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN thanked Mr. Achberger for his testimony. He further said Juneau was a wonderful place to live. However, the real issue was access by the people to their legislators, he stated. Representative Ogan asserted face-to-face testimony was more affective and agreed video teleconference would be a big step forward. He asked the cameras to pan the room to show the audience the crowded room and the interest in the issues. Number 0269 MR. ACHBERGER said, he agreed with Representative Ogan. However, he stated, constituents would find their representatives when they needed to. The vocal minority would always find access, he said. In conclusion, Mr. Achberger commented the real access the people had was through voting. CHAIR JAMES called Senator Randy Phillips to the table. Number 0359 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS said this issue would not go away. Contrary to testimony on housing and personal issues, the main problem was access. We were elected to represent the people. Senator Phillips said, if the legislature were to move to Anchorage the people would respond. He cited the Anchorage Caucus meeting drew 300-400 people each meeting addressing their concerns. Furthermore, the families in his district complained their children could not see the legislative process in action. He asserted direct exposure was important for the young people of Alaska. Physical access created a better understanding of the institution, he alleged, fundamentally resulting in more confidence and respect the institution deserved. Senator Phillips stated he had better response when he talked to people directly than when the people relied on the media for filtered information. The access issue was a big problem and there were only a few ways to get to Juneau, he said. He concluded by again reiterating the shame it was that the majority of the children of Alaska could not see the legislative process in action, and it was just a matter of time before the legislature would move. Number 0548 CHAIR JAMES thanked Senator Phillips and asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 0560 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she was proud of the citizens of Juneau for addressing the issue. She asked if other communities in Alaska would respond the same way. Representative Robinson further addressed the issue of access to other areas of Alaska and not just Anchorage. Alaska was a very large state, she said, that would require teleconference access no matter where the capital was located. She agreed with Senator Phillips and his concern that the young people of Alaska should have better access to the legislative process. She cited the Gavel to Gavel program brought the legislature to the classrooms. Representative Robinson also questioned why the Close-Up Program was eliminated last year in the budget. Once again, however, the citizens of Juneau responded and the Southeast Regional Resource Center was still going to do a Close-Up Program. She recognized the difficulties incurred when relocating, but no matter where the capital was citizens would be misplaced. She concluded by asking everyone to work together and to make sure every citizen of this state had access to the capital. Number 0710 CHAIR JAMES said she moved to Alaska when the capital move issue was at its highest. She said when she looked at a map of the state she was surprised to see the capital was so far south. She further stated one-half of the people in the state lived in the Anchorage Bowl. Therefore, one-half of the people were displaced. Chair James declared the people of Juneau loved their capital and they would do everything within their power to keep the capital here. It was unreasonable to think, she said, this would change right now given the current sentiment. She said, she enjoyed coming to Juneau and it was a wonderful place. She remarked she was not sure what would happen if the legislators were spread out over the city of Anchorage, but she cited Salem, Oregon and Sacramento, California were bigger cities than Anchorage, and they managed to come together. Chair James further stated telecommunication was needed no matter where the capital was located due to the rural districts. She asserted she was not taking a position on this issue, however, she commented, the city of Juneau would be better served if they would spend their time and efforts concentrating on what kind of city Juneau would be when the capital was gone rather than trying to keep the capital here. She applauded the cohesiveness of the community in their efforts, but believed the capital would move eventually due to the geographical differences between the Panhandle and the rest of the state. Chair James declared the issue would not go away, but it would not pass the legislature this year either. She asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 0935 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented it was an access and location issue. He said he continued to hear today interchange between the capital move and the legislative move. He believed one did not follow the other. Representative Green said he was pleased with Juneau, when you could get there, and the people were top notch. The problem, however, was he represented his constituency in Anchorage and Anchorage represented a much larger percentage of the people in the state. He further said, 57 legislators relocated to Juneau each session while in Anchorage it would be around 30. The shear weight of numbers, he commented, suggested a move towards the center of the population. He cited Carson City, Nevada as a capital that was not located in the center of the population. However, he said, there was not a commuting problem due to more favorable commuting conditions. Representative Green declared when the capital moved failed the rent skyrocketed, and furthermore, the legislators were evicted when the session was extended and the tourists arrived. He cited for 30 years the capital had been in Juneau and there had always been a housing problem. He alleged the potential threat to move the capital or the legislature kept the fire going and the issues in the forefront. Representative Green applauded the increased telecommunication networks. He believed it was the answer to access in the remote areas, but the issue was still the access from the constituency to the legislator. He took issue with the fiscal cost and said we must act responsibly. He further stated, having direct access to the legislative process was far better than any electronic media could provide. He remarked one-half of the children located in Anchorage would have access to the legislative process which was far better than only 10 percent currently. He further stated the Close-Up Program was a cost benefit ratio issue. He asserted we must serve the people the best way possible. Representative Green suggested a survey to determine the percentage of people who would want to keep the capital in Juneau but move the legislature to Anchorage where the participation turnout would be higher. He disclosed, if there was a way to satisfy his constituents and not move the capital he would be for it. He further commented he was concerned about the cost involved. He said he was amazed at the energy of the Juneau people and suggested they turn that energy towards a constructive Southeast issue such as opening the AJ Mine. Representative Green moved that HB 71 move from the House State Affairs committee with the attached fiscal notes with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON objected. Number 1408 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS suggested a technical amendment on page 1, line 8, to read "Tuesday" instead of "Monday" referring to the convening of the legislature on a holiday, Martin Luther King Day. Number 1448 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded the convening of the legislature was a constitutional issue. Number 1470 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said it was an argumentative issue. He was aware of one legal opinion that said it was not a constitutional issue, but he agreed, it was not a good idea to convene on a holiday. Number 1478 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said he wanted to bring that up for consideration. Number 1484 CHAIR JAMES said HB 71 would next go to the Judiciary Committee where the issue could be addressed. Number 1499 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN suggested the above recommendation move with the bill to the Judiciary Committee. There might be other judicial issues discovered as well. Number 1518 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he would not have a problem addressing those issues as chair of the Judicial Committee. Number 1538 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON informed the committee members that Representative Bettye Davis had a bill to change the date when the legislature convenes. She reiterated her objection to the motion. Number 1555 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN thanked the testifiers today and applauded the Gavel to Gavel coverage brought about by their efforts. He said, it took money to access democracy especially in a state the size of Alaska. His district would be against a move such as this due to the cost factor. He commended the Mayor and the City and Borough of Juneau for trying to make things comfortable for the legislators. The bottom line, however, was access. Number 1675 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said, he would vote "yes" on HB 71 and said this was a question of access. Last November, he stated, the people in his district voted 69 percent in favor of a capital move. Therefore, he must reflect their feelings, and vote accordingly. Number 1750 CHAIR JAMES said her conservative district did not vote in favor of moving the capital due to the fiscal restraints. She felt they would favor the capital closer in proximity to them but did not want to pay for the relocation expenses. Number 1799 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved that HB 71 move from the House State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. There was an objection, so a roll call vote was taken. Representatives James, Ogan, Green, Ivan, Porter and Willis voted in favor of moving the bill. Representative Robinson voted against moving the bill. So, HB 71 moved from the committee. Number 1890 ADJOURNMENT CHAIR JAMES adjourned the meeting at 9:30 a.m.