Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/30/1996 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 30, 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 JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 52 Relating to the creation of a new United States Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit. - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 382 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Dispensing Opticians; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CSHB 382(STA) 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 CSHB 404(STA) 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." - HEARD AND HELD * HOUSE BILL NO. 75 "An Act relating to criminal mischief." - PASSED SSHB 75 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 368 "An Act relating to election campaigns, election campaign financing, the oversight and regulation of election campaigns by the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the activities of lobbyists that relate to election campaigns, and the definitions of offenses of campaign misconduct; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 317 "An Act relating to election campaigns, election campaign financing, the oversight and regulation of election campaigns by the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the activities of lobbyists that relate to election campaigns, and the definitions of offenses of campaign misconduct; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 52 SHORT TITLE: CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR 12TH CIRCUIT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PORTER, Rokeberg JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/09/96 2392 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/09/96 2392 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 01/10/96 2404 (H) COSPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG 01/30/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 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 2451 (H) STA RPT 3DP 3NR 01/16/96 2451 (H) DP: JAMES, IVAN, ROBINSON 01/16/96 2451 (H) NR: PORTER, GREEN, OGAN 01/16/96 2451 (H) FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 01/16/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/16/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/17/96 2472 (H) FIN REFERRAL ADDED 01/17/96 2472 (H) REFERRED TO FIN 01/24/96 (H) FIN AT 01:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 01/24/96 2527 (H) RETURNED TO STATE AFFAIRS 01/25/96 (H) FIN AT 01:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 01/30/96 (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 2451 (H) STA RPT 4DP 3NR 01/16/96 2451 (H) DP: JAMES, IVAN, ROBINSON, WILLIS 01/16/96 2451 (H) NR: PORTER, GREEN, OGAN 01/16/96 2451 (H) FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 01/16/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/16/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/17/96 2472 (H) FIN REFERRAL ADDED 01/17/96 2472 (H) REFERRED TO FIN 01/24/96 (H) FIN AT 01:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 01/24/96 2527 (H) RETURNED TO STATE AFFAIRS 01/25/96 (H) FIN AT 01:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 01/30/96 (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 2452 (H) STA RPT 4DP 3NR 01/16/96 2452 (H) DP: JAMES, IVAN, ROBINSON, WILLIS 01/16/96 2452 (H) NR: PORTER, GREEN, OGAN 01/16/96 2452 (H) FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 01/16/96 2452 (H) REFERRED TO RULES 01/16/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/16/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/17/96 2472 (H) FIN REFERRAL ADDED 01/17/96 2472 (H) REFERRED TO FIN 01/24/96 (H) FIN AT 01:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 01/24/96 2527 (H) RETURNED TO STATE AFFAIRS 01/25/96 (H) FIN AT 01:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 01/30/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 75 SHORT TITLE: INCREASED PENALTIES FOR JOYRIDING SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) SANDERS, Finkelstein, Kott JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 40 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/16/95 40 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 40 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/25/95 136 (H) COSPONSOR(S): FINKELSTEIN 01/19/96 2494 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOTT 01/25/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/26/96 2540 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 01/26/96 2540 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/30/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 368 SHORT TITLE: ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 12/29/95 2362 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2362 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2362 (H) STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/25/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/25/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/30/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 317 SHORT TITLE: ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) FINKELSTEIN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/21/95 1427 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/21/95 1427 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/08/96 2358 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 01/08/96 2358 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/25/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/25/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/30/96 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 WITNESS REGISTER JIM BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General Governmental Affairs Section Civil Division Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HJR 52. CHARLES E. COLE, Attorney at Law Law Offices of Charles E. Cole 406 Cushman Street Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-1124 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HJR 52. WALT WILCOX, Committee Aide House State Affairs Committee State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. CATHERINE REARDON, Director Division of Occupational Licensing Central Office Department of Commerce and Economic Development P.O. Box 110806 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0806 Telephone: (907) 465-2534 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. RANDY WELKER, Legislative Auditor Legislative Audit Division Legislative Agencies and Offices P.O. Box 113300 Juneau, Alaska 99800-3300 Telephone: (907) 465-3820 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. JEANNE LOVELL, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jerry Sanders State Capitol, Room 414 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4945 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 75. JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant Office of the Commissioner Department of Corrections 240 Main Street, Suite 700 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4640 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 75. DEL SMITH, Deputy Commissioner Office of the Commissioner Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200 Telephone: (907) 465-4322 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 75. ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General Central Office Criminal Division Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3428 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 75. DIANE WORLEY, Director Central Office Division of Family and Youth Services Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110630 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0630 Telephone: (907) 465-3191 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 75. REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 424 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2435 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 368 and HB 317. BROOKE MILES, Regulation of Lobbying Public Offices Commission Department of Administration P.O. Box 110222 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0222 Telephone: (907) 465-4864 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 368. ROBERT GIGLER 7447 Obriens Anchorage, Alaska 99507 Telephone number not provided POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 368. FRANK SMITH P.O. Box 1199 Barrow, Alaska 99723 Telephone: (907) 852-4983 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 368. ANALEE MCCONNELL, Director Office of the Director Office of Management and Budget Office of the Governor P.O. Box 110001 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0001 Telephone: (907) 465-4660 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments on the supplemental appropriation on the federal shortfall. JOHN KATZ, Special Counsel Washington D.C. Office Office of the Governor 444 North Capitol NW, Suite 336 Washington D.C. 20001-1512 Telephone: (206) 624-5858 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments on the supplemental appropriation on the federal shortfall. MARTHA STEWART, Special Assistant Washington D.C. Office Office of the Governor 444 North Capitol NW, Suite 336 Washington D.C. 20001-1512 Telephone: (206) 624-5858 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments on the supplemental appropriation on the federal shortfall. JANET CLARK, Director Central Office Division of Administrative Services Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110650 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0650 Telephone: (907) 465-3082 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments on the supplemental appropriation on the federal shortfall. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-06, 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, Green, Ivan, Porter, and Willis. Members absent at the call to order were Representatives Ogan and Robinson. HJR 52 - CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR 12TH CIRCUIT The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HJR 52. CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES called on Representative Brian Porter, sponsor of HJR 52. Number 0088 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER said HJR 52 was a resolution that would put Alaska on record with the United States Congress which supports splitting the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit into two circuits. He referred the committee members to the map in the bill file titled "The Thirteen Federal Judicial Circuits." He explained at the federal level the district court was akin to Alaska's superior court. He also explained there were two levels of appeal in the federal system - the circuit court and the Supreme Court. He further explained the circuit courts were established decades ago based on population. The population had increased, and as far back as 1973 a federal commission recommended splitting the Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits. Consequently, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was split creating the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The commission recommended administrative changes for the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which he alleged were not working. He further explained in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit there were 27 judges, 17 judges in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and as few as 6 judges in the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The judges in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit were divided into panels, he explained, hearing cases by specialty. However, this created inconsistent decisions on the same points of law. Consequently, it was very expensive and difficult to practice law in Alaska. The five states that comprised the proposed Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit were Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. In conclusion he announced all five attorneys general from the states supported the notion. Number 0470 CHAIR JAMES announced the presence of Representatives Ogan and Robinson. Number 0488 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON asked the status of the corresponding legislation in Congress. Number 0509 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said HJR 52 supported S.956. S.956 divided the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit creating the Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit. He stated, California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, the Mariana Islands, and Guam would remain in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Number 0562 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked how the circuit judges would be divided and if the division would be dictated by legislation. Number 0576 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded it would be decided based on case load. He stated it was best if they split the court for groups of judges instead of all of them. He cited the 27 judges in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lived in the Los Angeles area. He alluded no matter where the judges originally came from, after living in Los Angeles they became "Californians." He further asserted it was affecting the laws. Number 0635 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if the judges would reside in one of the states that comprised the proposed Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit. Number 0640 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER replied the state of Washington would probably be the seat for the proposed Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit was a lot closer than California. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON alleged judges residing in Washington would have a better understanding of Alaska. Number 0673 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS asked if the judges had to live in a particular district to be appointed. Number 0684 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER replied they looked at applicants from the general area and circuit. Number 0706 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS asked if an Alaskan had ever been appointed to a seat in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Number 0708 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he did not know, but Charlie Cole, Attorney at Law, would be able to answer the question. He also announced Jim Baldwin, Assistant Attorney General, was here in place of Bruce Botelho, Attorney General to testify on HJR 52. Number 0744 JIM BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General, Government Affairs Section, Civil Division, Government Affairs Section, Department of Law, said the Attorney General wanted to be here himself but was detained in Seattle. He stated the Department of Law supported HJR 52. Mr. Baldwin alleged a locally oriented court of appeals would benefit Alaska. He said it was important the appellate courts reflected the socioeconomic attitudes of the different regions. The attitudes, he stated, shaped the development of laws. He further said the attention of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit focused on the more populace western states and needed to be broken into a smaller unit to reflect the case load. He cited 22 percent of the cases now pending before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit were from Alaska, California, Washington, Oregon and Montana. In conclusion, he reiterated, the department supported HJR 52 and would support the committee in any way possible. Number 0935 CHARLES E. COLE, Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Charles E. Cole, said he supported the geographic dismantle proposed in HJR 52 of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He referred to his written statement to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and asked it be part of the record. He further stated the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the largest district and expanded from Tucson to Point Barrow. He asserted there was no particular reason why Congress could not split the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit based on geography alone as it had done so before in the past. He further stated the decisions from California, for example, dealing with Alaska and the northwest were interpreted in a bizarre fashion. He alleged there was not a subjective "pulse" of the various considerations of the statutes. He cited the Kenaitze panel referenced The Milepost to define the term "rural." He said it was defined as, "the vast areas of the U.S. where agriculture and ranching predominate." He stated this definition did not reflect to Alaska except maybe for the area near Palmer. He also cited the Totemoff decision whereby the Alaska court reached the opposite opinion. Mr. Cole said he was not criticizing the results of the decisions, but rather the judicial craftsmanship. In conclusion, he stated, the judges in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lacked a collegiality. He also mentioned Alaskan Robert Boochever who served on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit did not support HJR 52. Number 1370 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked how many cases resided and were resolved at the court of appeals level, or was it just an avenue to the Supreme Court. Number 1390 MR. COLE replied it was the final repository for most decisions and rarely did cases go to the Supreme Court. He, therefore, alleged the final authority resided with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Number 1440 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN referred to previous testimony regarding the definition of "rural" by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and asked what rural Native Alaskans could expect if HJR 52 was passed. Number 1488 MR. COLE replied the rural constituencies could expect decisions emanated from a greater familiarity of issues such as subsistence compared to decisions emanated from judges residing in Los Angeles. Number 1560 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Mr. Cole if he knew where S.956 was in the legislative process. She also asked if there was a way to be sure judges appointed to the proposed Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit would understand Alaska. Number 1580 MR. COLE replied he did not know where S.956 was in the process. He also suggest Arizona should shift to the same circuit district as California. Mr. Cole further replied the appointment of the judges were left to the Alaskan Congressional delegates as they were appointed at the federal level. Number 1640 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated S.956 just passed out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He further announced the population in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was 45 million, and suggested by population alone the argument was strong enough to create a new one. Number 1680 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved that HJR 52 move from the committee with zero fiscal note and individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, HJR 52 was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee. HB 382 - EXTEND BOARD OF DISPENSING OPTICIANS HB 404 - EXTENDING BOARD OF CHIROPRACTORS HB 405 - EXTEND BOARD OF OPTOMETRISTS Number 1730 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was CSHB 382(STA), CSHB 404(STA), and CSHB 405(STA). CHAIR JAMES called on Walter Wilcox, Committee Aide, House State Affairs Committee. WALTER WILCOX, Committee Aide, House State Affairs Committee, said the three bills before them were returned to the House State Affairs Committee by the House Finance Committee to incorporate the recommendations of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee mentioned in the previous committee meeting. Mr. Wilcox said Catherine Reardon, Director, Central Office, Division of Occupational Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development reviewed and agreed with the recommendations as stated in her memorandum dated January 24, 1996. He also referred the committee members to the memorandum by Randy Welker, Legislative Auditor, dated January 17, 1996, which summarized his suggestions. He further said CSHB 382(STA), CSHB 404(STA), and CSHB 405(STA) were given the same expiration date, the year 2002. He alleged the only controversy was in CSHB 405(STA) between the optometrists and dispensing opticians. He deferred to Ms. Reardon for additional questions. Number 1831 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Central Office, Division of Occupational Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, said she did not want to overemphasize the conflict between the optometrists and the dispensing opticians, but over the years there had been the discussion if optometrists had to employee opticians or apprentices in their office if they wanted staff to dispense glasses and contacts. The audit suggested the issue be put to rest. She said there were two bills that exempted the employees of optometrists from the requirement in previous sessions. The bills did not pass, however. She alleged the discussion might delay the extension of the boards. In conclusion, Ms. Reardon asserted the Department of Commerce and Economic Development did not take a stand on this issue. Number 1952 MR. WILCOX requested Ms. Reardon walk the committee through each bill and discuss the changes. Number 1968 MS. REARDON said CSHB 382(STA) extended the Board of Dispensing Opticians to the year 2002. The rest of the bill, she stated, addressed licensing requirements. The bill removed reciprocity and established a licensure by credentials, whereby an optician licensed in another state where requirements were substantially equivalent to or higher than those of Alaska would be issued a license without an examination. She said Section 5, page 2, AS 08.71.150, repealed the reciprocity statute. Number 2060 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER asked if the bill being discussed was the same bill as the committee previously discussed. Number 2070 MR. WILCOX replied this was a committee substitute. MS. REARDON answered the changes were the removal of licensure by reciprocity, the fine tuning of licensure by credentials, and the expiration date. Number 2102 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt the committee substitute. Hearing no objection, it was so adopted. Number 2110 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that CSHB 382(STA) move from the committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee. Number 2127 MR. WILCOX asked Ms. Reardon to clarify the changes to CSHB 404(STA). Number 2133 MS. REARDON said the CSHB 404(STA) repealed the licensure by credential option, which stated the board could issue a license without examination with proof of a license in another state. However, she announced, the board was not able to determine if the exams were equivalent so consequently everyone was required to take the examination. She asserted the repealed statutes would clear the confusion. Number 2186 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved the committee adopt the substitute and move CSHB 404(STA) from the committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee. Number 2220 MR. WILCOX said CSHB 405(STA) extended the date of the Board of Optometry to the year 2002 and the recommendations suggested by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee were incorporated. He stated CSHB 405(STA) was the controversial bill as Ms. Reardon explained in her earlier testimony. Mr. Wilcox called on Ms. Reardon to explain the changes. Number 2230 MS. REARDON stated CSHB 405(STA) reflected the recommendations of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. Section 2, she said, deleted the application for an examination fifteen days before the exam and allowed the division to establish the deadline to ease administration. Section 3, she said, clarified the controversy mentioned earlier as the substituted bill now read an optician must be registered as an apprentice. Section 4, she stated, repealed the licensing of branch offices. She said the board had not been following this statute as it did not seem necessary to obtain a different license for each branch office. Ms. Reardon further said Section 4 repealed the 20/40 visual acuity and the infectious disease provisions. It was recommended to delete the above mentioned provisions due to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Ms. Reardon asserted an optometrist found practicing with an infectious disease without protection would be subject to incompetence charges. Number 2344 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if there was a similar requirement for doctors and dentists. Number 2350 MS. REARDON replied there was not a requirement to get a license. She cited infectious diseases came and went, and at the point the individual became infected it was necessary to exercise protection. She reiterated it was not recommended as a licensing provision. Number 2373 CHAIR JAMES mentioned the visual acuity requirement and asked if it was possible a blind optician could do the required work. Number 2381 MS. REARDON replied there were probably certain portions of the work a blind optician could not perform. She further stated the repeal of Section 4 did not require the employment of an individual who could not perform the duties. CHAIR JAMES responded Ms. Reardon was talking about an optician and not an optometrist. MS. REARDON apologized as she was confused about which sections Chair James was referring to. MS. REARDON again answered she was not sure if a blind optometrist could perform successfully, but the opportunity needed to be available. Number 2451 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if it was difficult for an assistant as mentioned in Section 3 to obtain a certificate. TAPE 96-6, SIDE B Number 0000 MS. REARDON read the following statement. "An apprentice has to register with the department before beginning employment as an apprentice and shall be in training and under the direct supervision of a licensed physician optometrist or dispensing optician. You may not serve as an apprentice for longer than six years without advancing to your full optician license, unless you get special permission from the board explaining why you were not able to complete the program in the six years. No more than two apprentices may be under the direct supervision of one licensed dispensing optician at the same time." MS. REARDON stated it might be a problem if individuals did not want to advance to a licensed dispensing optician, but rather continue as an apprentice. Number 0014 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER inquired if an optometrist would have to employee a licensed optician to supervise the apprentice. Number 0023 MS. REARDON responded the statute read an apprentice could be supervised by a licensed physician, optometrist, or dispensing optician. She asserted it limited opticians, but not optometrists. MS. REARDON read AS 08.72.181(b) into the record. "An optometrist licensed in this state and serving in the military service of the United States, while in the discharge of official duties, may maintain eligibility to practice in this state without paying a renewal fee by registering the optometrist's name and place of residence with the department." MR. WILCOX announced the repeal of the above read statute, AS 08.72.181(b), was removed from CSHB 405(STA). MS. REARDON asked the committee members to ignore her recent testimony as it had been removed from the bill. In conclusion, she stated, there were only three repealers in Section 4, the branch office licensing, the visual acuity, and the infectious disease provisions. Number 0103 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked if there were any witnesses to testify on CSHB 405(STA). Number 0114 MR. WILCOX replied Randy Welker, Division of Legislative Audit, was here to answer any questions as well. Number 0118 RANDY WELKER, Legislative Auditor, Legislative Audit Division, Legislative Agencies and Offices, said he would be happy to answer any questions. Number 0131 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated he was interested in hearing from a witness in the industry. Number 0140 CHAIR JAMES asked if the issue in Section 3 of CSHB 405(STA) was whether or not a person working for am optometrist needed to be an apprenticed optician. MR. WELKER responded Chair James was correct. He explained it did not matter where an optician worked, the standards should be applied to everyone in the field. Number 0195 CHAIR JAMES stated the section required those working under a dispensing optician needed to be licensed as an apprentice. Number 0234 MR. WELKER responded Chair James was correct. He alleged the registration as an apprentice was not an onerous task as it only required the intention of licensure. He asserted Section 3 evened the responsibility among everyone. Number 0260 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any opticians or optometrists to testify, and wondered it they were aware of the changes. Number 0272 MR. WILCOX replied there was testimony on the first bill, and said he informed the head of the board. He further said CSHB 405(STA) would be in the House Finance Committee next week where witnesses would have the opportunity to testify. Number 0283 CHAIR JAMES replied the House Finance Committee would not like the bill to be passed on without proper review. Number 0289 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he would like to hear from the industry as well. He asked if there was the potential people might lose their jobs now that certification was required. He commented he was concerned about the people already working under the old statute and how it would affect them. Number 0312 MR. WELKER said the six year clock would start upon registration as an apprentice. Number 0325 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked what the standard of practice was in other states. She also inquired what would happen to individuals who did not want to progress in their current position. Number 0342 MR. WELKER replied it was first necessary to determine if the field of opticinary required licensing. He stated less than half of the states in the U.S. licensed opticians. If it was deemed necessary to require licensure then, he asserted, it was necessary to require everyone to follow accordingly no matter where they worked. He further said the issue had been debated before and the department always agreed it was necessary for the public's best interest to require licensing. Number 0390 CHAIR JAMES wondered if there were any claims of injury from the public as a direct result of an optician not being licensed. Number 0425 MR. WELKER said he was not aware of any significant concern. Number 0430 MS. REARDON said there were complaints about unlicensed practice. She offered to call the investigator for further information. Number 0444 CHAIR JAMES asserted she would like to hold CSHB 405(STA) until the committee heard testimony from the industry. Number 0465 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if there was a problem with the extension date. CHAIR JAMES replied the extension date was extended to the year 2002. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if a delay would interfere with the extension of the board. MR. WILCOX replied, no, because the bill did not expire until June 30, 1996. Number 0475 MR. WILCOX stated the last issue to address was penalties for practicing without a license. He said a bill would be read today on the floor addressing that issue. Number 0488 CHAIR JAMES said the issue was not incorporated into the bills because it was a broad subject that encompassed all occupational licenses. Porter 0494 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested putting Section 3 of CSHB 405(STA) in the above mentioned bill, and leave CSHB 405(STA) as an extension of the board only. Number 0500 CHAIR JAMES said that was a possible option. HB 75 - INCREASED PENALTIES FOR JOYRIDING Number 0510 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was SSHB 75. CHAIR JAMES called on Jeanne Lovell, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jerry Sanders to present the sponsor substitute statement. JEANNE LOVELL, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jerry Sanders, said Representative Sanders was detained in Anchorage. Ms. Lovell read the following statement into the record. "Sponsor Substitute for House Bill 75 labels those who take cars belonging to others as what they are -- thieves -- not joy riders or pranksters. It increases the penalty for the crime of vehicle theft to a C Felony with one minor exception (first offense snow machines). "This bill provides a strong deterrent for those who might otherwise commit vehicle theft. Generally, under current law, those caught "joy riding" can only be convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor. The current law ties the hands of police and provides no deterrent for the car thief unless they cause $500 damage or it is their second offense. "By increasing the crime of "joy riding" to a felony, SSHB 75 provides a strong deterrent necessary to prevent Alaska's youth from participating in vehicle theft and it gives the justice system the tools with which to make car thieves responsible for their actions. "There are other bills currently under consideration regarding vehicle theft issues. However, I, Representative Sanders, feel the SSHB 75 best serves the public interest because it is a compromise bill that stands the best chance of addressing the concerns of both the legislature and the administration." Number 0661 CHAIR JAMES said there was a day when steeling a horse was a hanging offense and now people drove cars. Number 0677 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Ms. Lovell to explain the revisions in SSHB 75. Number 0692 MS. LOVELL deferred the question to Jerry Shriner, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Corrections. Number 0703 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Corrections, said the fiscal note expended about three million dollars. He stated two million related to the provision that made a second offense a class B felony with a four years sentence. SSHB 75 changed it so a second offense was a class C felony with a two years sentence. It was the cost difference between the Class B and Class C Felony charges reflected in the fiscal note. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness, Del Smith, Deputy Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Public Safety. Number 0757 DEL SMITH, Deputy Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Public Safety, said the department supported SSHB 75. He said it had been called "joy riding" for far too long, and sounded like a college prank. In conclusion, he stated the department supported the increased penalties and believed in calling the action a theft. Number 0830 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN cited six cars per day in Anchorage were stolen and wondered if more cars were stolen in winter, for example. Number 0845 MR. SMITH responded there were 20 cars stolen in one day in Anchorage due to the key being left in the car, so there appeared to be more cars stolen in the winter. 0875 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS asked Mr. Smith to explain the profile of a juvenile and adult offender, and wondered if there were more juvenile offenders. Number 0891 MR. SMITH responded there were 604 offenders last year of which 200 were juveniles and 400 were adults in Anchorage. He asserted there was a fair amount of juvenile offenders in Anchorage based on the larger population base. Number 0919 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN described his time spent last year with the Anchorage Police Department. He said he was appalled at the list of stolen vehicles. He cited an example where an officer decided not to pursue a possible stolen vehicle because it was not a felony offense. He said he was questioned by many police officers when joy riding would be a felony. He further cited in the Palmer Valley a first offender received a warning letter due to an overwhelming case load. He questioned if SSHB 75 was for posture or real action. Number 0999 MR. SMITH responded a felony should commensurate with a consequence. He further stated the message sent to juveniles that "joy riding" was a felony needed attached consequences, and that would cost money. He further said he did not have the absolute answer to Representative Ogan's concerns. A consequence was needed, he alleged, or it was not a good piece of policy. Number 1040 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it appeared from the Health and Social Service fiscal note there was a good chance of making a difference. Number 1059 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if there were any statistics from the rest of the state other than Anchorage. Number 1070 MR. SMITH said because of the population base in Anchorage it was the biggest problem. He further said snow machines were a bigger problem in areas off of the main road system. Number 1090 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if snow machines were excluded. Number 1100 MR. SMITH said in SSHB 75 it was not a felony. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked about skiffs and 4-wheelers. MR. SMITH responded the mentioned vehicles by Representative Ivan were considered a misdemeanor. Number 1115 CHAIR JAMES cited a personal experience in 1990 where a family car was stolen. She also cited a personal example last year where a snow machine was stolen. She alleged there was a rash of activity and something needed to be done. Number 1189 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said if a car was stolen now it was only a misdemeanor, but if a $500 radio was stolen out of the car it was a felony. He questioned why there was an exemption for snow machines as they were worth more than $500. Number 1217 CHAIR JAMES said she understood a snow machine was a personal vehicle for some. Number 1230 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said when SSHB 75 was passed to the House Judiciary Committee the sponsor and the committee were going to consider incorporating another bill that addressed juvenile car theft. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness, Anne Carpeneti, Assistant Attorney General, Central Office, Criminal Division, Department of Law. Number 1275 ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Central Office, Criminal Division, Department of Law, said the Administration supported SSHB 75. She announced it was long overdue. Ms. Carpeneti said under SSHB 75 boat theft was a felony based on the definition of a motor vehicle. She further said a first offense snow machine theft was a misdemeanor, but a second offense was a felony. It would be a felony if over $500 worth of damage was done on the first offense, however. She said she would be happy to answer any questions. Number 1335 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if an all terrain vehicle such as a 4- wheeler was included in the definition of a motor vehicle. Number 1340 MS. CARPENETI said no. It was included in the snow machine provision. She read Section 1, page 3, line 1, "`motor vehicle' means a propelled vehicle that is a passenger car, truck, motorcycle, watercraft, aircraft, or commercial motor vehicle." CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness, Diane Worley, Director, Division of Family and Youth Services, Department of Health & Social Services. Number 1383 DIANE WORLEY, Director, Division of Family and Youth Services, Department of Health & Social Services said she was here to answer any questions. Number 1402 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Ms. Worler if SSHB 75 would make a difference and how would it affect her department. Number 1420 MS. WORLEY said the juvenile probation offices throughout Alaska were overburdened. She alleged Representative Robinson's question depended on the level of their ability to monitor juveniles and was limited by resources. She asserted the department supported SSHB 75. She stated it increased the level of the crime and took away the perception of "joy riding" versus the crime of auto theft. However, the division would need additional probation officers to make a difference in Anchorage and Palmer. Number 1502 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said under existing law when a juvenile stole a car he received a slap on the hand and asked Ms. Worley to comment. Number 1532 MS. WORLEY said the perception of the letter sent to juveniles on the first offense was exaggerated. She alleged the ability to take a strong action on criminal mischief was limited due to little leverage. Number 1590 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON questioned the concept of victim mediation and asked Ms. Worley to respond. Number 1625 MS. WORLEY said victim mediation had merit. She alleged it depended on the level of the crime. She affirmed victim mediation would be a good alternative to the less severe cases. Number 1655 CHAIR JAMES recalled her personal experience when the snow machine was stolen. She said it was a $4,000 snow mobile and when it was returned it was damaged. The mother of the juvenile cried when the complaint was filed. The case, however, was lost at DFYS. Chair James further said if it was her snow machine she would have approached the mother and juvenile directly to discuss the consequences. She said there needed to be alternatives to help the offender. Number 1740 MS. WORLEY agreed alternative programs were needed that involved the community and the parents. She cited a personal story where she stole a pack of gum at the age of five and was made to return it directly to the store. She said she was mortified and never stole again. Ms. Worley said juveniles learned from a process. The division she reiterated supported alternative programs for first time offenders. Number 1819 CHAIR JAMES wondered what would have happened if DFYS had not lost the file. Number 1850 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said it was refreshing to hear discussion regarding consequences to juvenile action. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved SSHB 75 move from committee with the attached fiscal notes, and individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee. HB 368 - ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM HB 317 - ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM Number 2000 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 368 and HB 317. CHAIR JAMES said the committee was to look at the individual sections today. She further said a committee substitute would be written based on the testimony and discussion in the committee. Number 2082 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON suggested adding the clause "there is a perception from the public" instead of "the legislature finds." CHAIR JAMES said in the last meeting we discussed perception versus reality. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked when the merit of the legislation versus the initiative would be discussed. She stated many people called her office to say they were upset a piece of legislation was being considered. She said she thought they would be pleased that the legislature was addressing the issue. She asserted a bill needed to mirror the existing initiative. She asked if the other members of the committee also received the same feedback. Number 2210 CHAIR JAMES said she had a few calls from people distressed about the bill. She further said it was an obligation to the people to discuss the issue. She also stated the committee should take heed to the drafters. She alleged things needed to be defined. She reiterated it was not the intention to challenge the initiative's efforts. Chair James asserted it was understandable the people involved in the initiative would be upset because they obviously felt the legislature could not deal with it directly. She said she hoped the committee process would convince the people legislators were more honorable than believed. She alleged the initiative was a lawyer's chance and a court's nightmare. TAPE 96-7, SIDE A Number 0000 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN started by addressing the sections. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 2 conformed to a later section. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 3 read municipalities could regulate more strictly than state law. He said he was not sure if they were completely restricted from that right now, however. Section 3, therefore, was a clarification. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 4 addressed inflation adjustment. He said HB 368 and the initiative made all amounts subject to an inflation adjustment, whereas HB 317 tied inflation adjustment to actual contribution limits only. He alleged the other minor amounts were silly to adjust and should stay at a round number. He recommended the approach in HB 317. Number 0208 CHAIR JAMES said she had an aversion to the consumer price index and the measurement of inflation. She alleged inflation measurements created a consumer price index. She suggested a statute to change the amounts instead of a provision in a bill. Number 0274 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said in five years the amounts were reviewed and adjusted according to Section 4. He suggested establishing a maximum contribution figure instead of adjusting for inflation. Number 0308 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 4 in HB 317 only turned the power over to the commission. Number 0346 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said if Section 4 were deleted an amendment would be needed to adjust the amount. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Representative Porter was correct. Number 0369 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN continued addressing the sections. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 5 was a conforming amendment. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 6 was a cost saving step. The section, he asserted, stated candidates that did not raise more than $1,000 or intend to raise more than $1,000 did not have to deal with the provisions of this chapter. The reason, he said, was to help the rural and smaller school board elections, for example. He alleged there were many elections this section applied to due to the small communities. He also said the $1,000 figure was not a magic figure and probably could be slightly higher. Number 0473 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER called on a witness from the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC). Number 0488 BROOKE MILES, Regulation of Lobbying, Public Offices Commission, Department of Administration, said the commission had a teleconference on HB 368 yesterday, and a written statement was being prepared. Number 0520 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if a provision existed to exclude a candidate who did not intend to spend more than $1,000. Number 0535 MS. MILES said under current commission policy, it did permit candidates for municipal offices to file an exemption if they did not intend to or raise more than $1,000. Number 0554 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said the law was not clear, and if someone challenged it they would succeed. Section 6, he stated, would extend the exemption to state offices as well. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 7 precluded the 50 percent provision. He said there was confusion when drafting the bill and it did not reflect the initiative. The bill said if a group supported or opposed and contributed to one candidate more than 50 percent of its funds, the name of the candidate should be part of the name of the group. He further suggested adopting the provisions in HB 317 instead of HB 368. Section 7 also called for registering before making an expenditure. Number 0736 CHAIR JAMES said if you had to register before making a contribution the 50 percent concept was gone. Number 0751 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said the 50 percent was separate and only related to the title of the group. According to Mike Frank, he alleged, there was a mistake when interpreting the intent of the initiative. He said it was corrected in HB 317. Number 0833 CHAIR JAMES commented she was concerned about the general public interpreting the initiative when a bill drafter had problems. Number 0864 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN continued addressing the sections. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said Section 8 stated only an individual or a group of individuals could make a contribution to a candidate. However, non-individuals could not contribute to a candidate. He stated this was the rule at the federal level. He cited labor unions and corporation contributions were banned during and prior to the 1940's. Number 0967 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated only individuals and political action groups could make contributions to a candidate, and cited the political action group was limited to $500, and the individual $250. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said it was $500 from a group and $500 from an individual. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked how much an individual could make a contribution to a political action group. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN replied $250. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded a political action group could make a contribution to a candidate of $500. He asked if a political action group could be a group of employees at a business, for example. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN replied yes. He further said at the federal level that was the type of political action groups that proliferated. He said he did not suspect that would happen at the state level because the amount limits were the same as for individuals. He cited at the federal level the contribution limit was five times higher for groups. Number 1091 CHAIR JAMES asserted she would get rid of political action groups altogether. However, she said, she did not want to water down the initiative. Number 1114 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said under the first amendment the right to assemble in the political realm was the right to assemble in a political group. He stated it was upheld at the federal level. Number 1155 CHAIR JAMES said a constitutional amendment was being discussed at the federal level to fix the problem of political action groups. She reiterated she wished they did not exist. She said Section 8 presumed only individuals could make contributions to political action groups and candidates, therefore, this eliminated revenue from charitable gaming activity, for example. Number 1213 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said the bills did not address charitable gaming. He said, Mike Frank believed the vast majority of the charitable gaming money came when a group turned its permit over to an operator or vender and received the proceeds. He stated that would be a corporation giving money to a political group which was not allowed. There was a contrary view, he said, but he did not know the answer. He announced he believed it would still be prohibited. He cited legislation from Representative Martin and Senator Pearce addressing charitable gaming. He further stated, the legislation allowed activity for a group to interact with the public in the attempt to solicit funds that clearly demonstrated where the funds would go. Number 1294 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if Mr. Frank believed there was an avenue for gaming proceeds through the political group to reach the candidate. Number 1315 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN responded the initiative committee believed a third party vendor raising money for a political group was prohibited. He cited that was a corporation and it was not allowed. He further said there was a contrary view, but he did not agree with it. In conclusion, he said, there was not a problem discussing the charitable gaming issue. Number 1348 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he would like to stay on the same page as the initiative. He stated he supported strengthening the language to preclude charitable gaming proceeds if it were the wish of the committee and the direction of the initiative. Number 1382 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN replied there was a difference in the initiative and the bills between someone who raised money on their own with a permit, such as a raffle, and in the way money was raised in reality. He suggested clarifying the issue. Number 1421 CHAIR JAMES said we should clarify the issue by stating only individuals could give to groups, and that money from groups could only come from individuals. Therefore, groups could only make collections and not earn money in any other manner. Number 1446 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON inquired about auction fund raising for candidates. Number 1457 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said a charitable gaming permit was not required for an auction. Number 1480 CHAIR JAMES read the following statement into the record from Ken Waldman, Box 22498, Juneau, Alaska 99802, (907) 463-8753. "Legislators now writing their own versions of a campaign finance reform bill, and legislators who support those efforts, just don't get it. "1) The work is wasteful duplication. A decent initiative signed by more than 32,000 Alaskans is already on the ballot this November. Supposedly busy people, don't legislators realize their time can better be spent on issues that haven't yet reached the petition stage? Or do 32,000 Alaskans continually have to sign petitions to be heard? "2) The work is cynical. After years of blocking such a measure, they're rushing forward only because it will be on the ballot. Being in touch with their constituents--a part of the job, yes?-- would have revealed a large number did indeed approve the measure. "3) The work is arrogant. The official line is they'll write a "better" bill. In reality, no writing is perfect; all writing is flawed, as will their bill be, only in different ways. The real reason has got to be to take this issue out of voters' hands, silence our voices. "4) The work is absurd. Giving the legislators the benefit of the doubt, I'm reminded of a movie scene where fire fighters arrive to save a town on fire. Only trouble, everything's cold rubble. The fire fighters are sincere, but inept. Wanting to help, they're days late. "No wonder more than 32,000 Alaskans signed the initiative. No wonder so many of us are disgusted. No wonder we need reform, and have needed it for years. "Keep at them." CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Anchorage, Robert Gigler. Number 1550 ROBERT GIGLER asked if Representative Green was present. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied yes. MR. GIGLER referred to a memorandum from a teleconference meeting. He said he had a problem with contributions from the national parties to the state of Alaska. He cited the National Republican Party made enormous campaign contributions and should not be allowed. He also asserted the $50 civil penalty should be raised to $500. He said after the appeal process the $50 went down to nothing. He also said it was the initiative petition to be on the ballot in November of 1996. In conclusion he said we need to get something done. He further said he was filing over 50 complaints from February 15 - 17, 1996 because no one was filing within the ten day time frame. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Barrow, Frank Smith. Number 1731 FRANK SMITH said he agreed with virtually everything Representative Finkelstein said. He further stated he was opposed to the contribution amount from political groups as it disturbed the political process. He alleged when a candidate had access to large sums of money it corrupted the process. He also said he was concerned the language in the bill exempted municipalities that chose to do so. He cited the "wet status" election in Barrow where it was unable to determine exactly where the money came from because the municipality many years ago chose to exempt itself. He suggested eliminating the language from the bill. Number 1790 CHAIR JAMES said the bill stated municipalities could get stronger and not weaker. ADJOURNMENT CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs meeting at 10:08 a.m. and moved right into the presentation made by the Administration. Number 1841 The Administration Presentation on Supplemental Appropriation on the Federal Shortfall was called to order by Chair Jeannette James at 10:10 a.m. CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness, Analee McConnell, Director, Office of the Director, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Governor. ANALEE MCCONNELL, Director, Office of the Director, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Governor, announced she appreciated the committee members for their time today to receive an update on the federally funded programs. She stated a bridge financing bill was proposed in early January due to the uncertainty in Washington D.C. She also stated John Katz, Special Counsel, was on-line in Washington D.C. to share his perceptions with the committee members. She announced there was a great deal of uncertainty still and the agencies were working minute-by-minute to update their status. Ms. McConnell said the agencies and the Administration were walking the line between causing unnecessary disruption of federally funded services by overreacting, and not being fiscally responsible by acknowledging what might happen if the federal funding levels were lowered. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness John Katz, Special Counsel, Washington D.C. Office, Office of the Governor. Number 1896 JOHN KATZ, Special Counsel, Washington D.C. Office, Office of the Governor, announced Martha Stewart was also on-line in Washington D.C. to help answer questions. He said the situation in Washington D.C. was characterized by uncertainty. He stated he had never seen a situation like this before and there were no patterns to extrapolate with accuracy about what might happen. He further stated Congress passed a continuing resolution until March 15, 1996. He said Congress would not be working on appropriation issues between now and late February. The current federal budget process divided itself, he stated, into categories to include agencies subject to appropriation bills in the normal course of business, agencies that received money at the conference committee level, agencies that received FY95 appropriations at the lesser of either chamber's level, and agencies funded at 75 percent of the FY95 level. He further said some agencies were funded based on the FY95 budget at the 95 percent level until September 30, 1996. In Alaska the agencies most affected were unemployment insurance and medicaid. The final complications, he said, were the unresolved differences between the political parties regarding welfare, medicaid and medicare reform. In conclusion, he stated, there were tertiary impacts, as well, for agencies in the Department of the Interior because Alaska was a public land state. CHAIR JAMES asked where the veterans fitted in this scenario. MR. KATZ called on Martha Stewart to respond. Number 2152 MARTHA STEWART, Special Assistant, Washington D.C. Office, Office of the Governor, replied some, but not all of the veteran's benefits were protected until September 30, 1996. She asked which programs in particular Representative James was concerned about. CHAIR JAMES said Ms. McConnell mentioned the veterans in an earlier discussion. MR. KATZ announced he would get back to the committee members in response to the particular questions regarding veterans. CHAIR JAMES said thank you. Number 2170 MS. MCCONNELL said the department was concerned about the disabled veterans programs. She said it first appeared the programs would be funded at the 75 percent level. However, every time the department was ready with a compilation more information was received that either would higher or lower the estimation. She said other states were caught in this uncertainty also. She said, it was difficult to receive the most up-to-date information from the federal agencies. However, at this point she felt the veteran's programs were in good shape. She announced Arbe Williams, Director, Central Office, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Labor was here to answer any specific questions. Number 2228 CHAIR JAMES said she was willing to bridge finance when the only thing holding up a decision was an accounts receivable from the federal government that guaranteed funding. She further said she was concerned if the funding was authorized by the legislature over and above the state budget then subsequently cut by the federal government, she asserted, to make up the difference a cut would be needed elsewhere. However, she suggested language could be devised to address this issue. Number 2284 MS. MCCONNELL responded the language proposed initially was pulled together quickly with the expectation adjustments would be made. She wondered what should be done about a program which is funded at the 75 percent level now, but was expected to be funded at a higher level, because there was no guarantee of the higher federal funding. She said she asked Mr. Katz if an agency was being funded at a 95 percent level was it possible Congress would decide to cut it back to 80 percent, for example, which would cause adjustments. She said Mr. Katz felt that was unlikely. She also said the department was concerned about laying people off in the interim when it was believed the issue would be resolved. There were other states that did lay people off during the time of uncertainty and resumed during the next continuing resolution. She stated that was not a good situation, however. She further said most issues were working out as hoped, such as unemployment insurance. She said two departments were here today to answer questions, the Department of Health and Social Services, and the Department of Labor. She asserted in some cases general fund matches would be spent at a faster rate. She stated this was a reasonable risk. In conclusion she wondered when to scale services that were being scaled back at the federal level also. She wondered if the cuts should be made now or at the end of the continuing resolution period resulting in more adjustments at the end of the fiscal year. Number 2440 CHAIR JAMES replied she was concerned about eliminating something that did not need to be cut to make up for the deficit. She further enquired about the 95 percent level, and asked if it was higher at the FY96 than the FY95 budget. MS. MCCONNELL asked if Chair James was referring to federal funds. CHAIR JAMES replied yes, or was it left at that level. MS. MCCONNELL replied no, a higher level was not assumed. Except, in the area of medicaid. She said Alaska was at a disadvantage in the medicaid proposals in Congress and the Administration was working closely with the Alaskan Congressional delegation. Otherwise a more conservative figure was assumed, she stated. TAPE 96-7, SIDE B Number 0000 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN commented there was an unprecedented draught in the state right now, and unless it snowed, he alleged, there would be an early and hot fire season. He wondered how this would be affected as there was a lot of federal funding that went toward fighting the wild land fires. Number 0035 MR. KATZ replied he was not sure because wild land fire fighting had not been singled out for special attention. He said it was part of the Department of the Interior's budget which was uncertain. He said it was an issue for the Alaskan Congressional delegation. Number 0060 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded he would appreciate it if the issue was addressed. He reiterated his district had no snow and he was concerned. Number 0071 MS. MCCONNELL said it was also an issue that would be addressed in the supplemental budget with respect to disasters. She stated a bad break-up was anticipated this year due to climate conditions and more information would be available later this week. Number 0125 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER wondered if it was easier to maintain the previous level or anticipate the reduction and administer at the reduced level. Number 0134 MS. MCCONNELL said initially it was to maintain the 95 federal level which was appropriated in the FY95 state budget. However, the uncertainty was piece-meal. She said it was never the intention to use this to address larger policy issues such as a state response to a federal budget reduction from here forward. Therefore, she stated, larger policy questions needed to be addressed as well. She hoped it would be dealt with in the FY97 budget as it would be an appropriate time to think it through, and temporarily kept things going through the end of the state fiscal year. She cited the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was the one agency the Administration now anticipates a federal funding level of 85 percent, therefore, it was time to start looking at the issues involved. Number 0198 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested including the different funding levels in the bill. Number 0217 CHAIR JAMES said it was important to know who the people were and what they did to determine how a decision would affect them, and suggested a scenario was needed. Number 0229 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER replied part of the scenario was the state level, the anticipated federal level, and the requested level. Number 0238 MS. MCCONNELL said this was the first time there was an extended time period where the funding level was known. She asked the committee members if it was timely to bring a supplemental bridge financing bill forward through the committees, or for the Administration to proceed as it had been. Number 0287 CHAIR JAMES said the legislature was confused also. She asserted it was important to not expand the spending already authorized. She stated the only way to deal with the issue was through supplemental funding. She reiterated it was a tough decision and everyone was in a quandary. She alleged agencies funded at the 90 to 95 percent level probably would not get 100 percent funding. She further alleged for agencies funded at the 75 percent level it was questionable if it would be cut altogether. She said she would take the position it would not be funded beyond 75 percent. She cited her discussion with Arbe Williams which addressed carry-over funds used in her department. In conclusion, she suggested a piece of legislation with guidelines was needed in the event this happened again. Number 0418 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON wondered about the status of the bill introduced. CHAIR JAMES said a bill had been introduced and was in the House State Affairs Committee, but it was not before them today because it needed to be amended. She said the Administration was preparing a substitute rather than the committee because they had the information. Number 0460 MS. MCCONNELL replied she was happy to make the amendments. However, she said she received information the legislature did not want to hear the bill. Number 0479 CHAIR JAMES suggested including parameters in the revised bill. MS. MCCONNELL said Mr. Katz believed decisions would probably not be made by March 15, 1996. CHAIR JAMES replied the bill should not be reactionary but precedent setting, therefore, more procedural than specific. Number 0502 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON agreed a quick response was needed. She questioned if pink slips would be given in the next few weeks. Number 0525 MS. MCCONNELL replied decisions were being made in programs where the funding level was below 95 percent. Layoffs would be necessary for agencies funded at the 85 percent level, for example, for the rest of the year. However, it was part of the legislative budget process to discuss reductions for FY97. Number 0569 CHAIR JAMES said specifics were needed along with parameters and procedures. Number 0588 MS. MCCONNELL wondered if the committee members would like to hear from the departments. CHAIR JAMES called Janet Clark, Director, Central Office, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Health and Social Services. Number 0616 JANET CLARK, Director, Central Office, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Health and Social Services, said this issue was crucial to the department because it received over $400,000,000 in federal funds for various programs. She said the department was tracking this weekly producing a report. The report, she stated, was based on a letter of credit received from the federal government, and if the money was not in the letter of credit it was included in the report even though the funding had been. She said she did not want to impact the state's cash position. Number 0672 CHAIR JAMES responded it was not a problem authorizing funds when there was a cash receivable. However, when there was not a cash receivable, a problem existed because of the possibility the it might be adjusted creating more adjustments elsewhere. She cited medicaid as an example of uncertainty because of changes in the law, and wondered if the changes would be retroactive. Number 0731 MS. CLARK replied the department received quarterly advances for the medicaid program. She cited the department spent over $5 million per week in medicaid payments and any changes would be a result of a policy decision. She further stated the department was in a different position than the Department of Labor, for example, because it received individual grants that went to people. Therefore, decisions affecting benefit levels were needed. There were enough funds to keep the current benefit levels until May 1, 1996. Ms. Clark also said the state could charge the federal government interest for the days cash was not sent, in some situations. Number 0811 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if the department had the authority to reduce a benefit. Number 0819 MS. CLARK said the current benefit levels were stated in statutes. Number 0830 CHAIR JAMES replied there was a different spin on everything and specifics were needed. ADJOURNMENT CHAIR JAMES adjourned the Administration presentation at 10:45 a.m.