Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/20/1996 08:02 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                       February 20, 1996                                       
                           8:02 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                         
 Representative Scott Ogan, Vice Chair                                         
 Representative Joe Green                                                      
 Representative Ivan Ivan                                                      
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Ed Willis                                                      
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 All members present.                                                          
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 63                                                             
 "An Act relating to special request licenses depicting the sport of           
 dog mushing."                                                                 
                                                                               
      - PASSED CSSSHB 63(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                 
                                                                               
 * HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 60                                               
 Relating to Revised Statute 2477 rights-of-way.                               
                                                                               
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
                                                                               
 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 51                                                 
 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska             
 relating to limited entry for sport fish guides and allied                    
 professions.                                                                  
                                                                               
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 495                                                          
 "An Act amending the Election Code to provide that voters be                  
 permitted to register opposition to all candidates in certain                 
 election contests."                                                           
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 363                                                            
 "An Act requiring banks to pay interest on money in reserve                   
 accounts held in connection with mortgage loans."                             
                                                                               
      - PASSED CSHB 363(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
 HOUSE BILL NO. 338                                                            
 "An Act relating to permits to carry concealed handguns."                     
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 472                                                            
 "An Act relating to release before trial for cases involving                  
 controlled substances."                                                       
                                                                               
      - BILL CANCELLED FOR THIS DATE                                           
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB  63                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: DOG MUSHING VANITY PLATES                                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) DAVIES, Bunde, Barnes, Willis,                  
 Elton, Toohey, James, Nicholia                                                
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 01/06/95        37    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        37    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        37    (H)   TRANSPORTATION, STATE AFFAIRS,                    
 FINANCE                                                                       
 01/19/95        91    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BUNDE                               
 03/15/95       740    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE                                
                             INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                              
 03/15/95       740    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/15/95       741    (H)   TRANSPORTATION,STATE AFFAIRS,FINANCE              
 01/08/96      2382    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BARNES, WILLIS, ELTON               
 01/08/96      2382    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY                              
 01/17/96      2474    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): JAMES                               
 01/24/96      2527    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  NICHOLIA                           
 01/24/96              (H)   TRA AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 01/24/96              (H)   MINUTE(TRA)                                       
 01/30/96      2564    (H)   TRA RPT  CSSS(TRA) 3DP 3NR                        
 01/30/96      2564    (H)   DP: JAMES, LONG, BRICE                            
 01/30/96      2564    (H)   NR: MASEK, SANDERS, G.DAVIS                       
 01/30/96      2564    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (DPS)                                 
 02/15/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/20/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HJR 60                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: RS 2477 HIGHWAY RIGHTS OF WAY                                    
 SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                     
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 02/16/96      2790    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/16/96      2790    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, RESOURCES                          
 02/20/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HJR 51                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: SPORT FISHING GUIDE LIMITED ENTRY                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 12/29/95      2358    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2358    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2358    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FSH, JUDICIARY                     
 02/13/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/17/96              (H)   STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/20/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 495                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: NONE OF THE ABOVE OPTION IN ELECTIONS                            
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 02/09/96      2698    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/09/96      2699    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 02/20/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 363                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: INTEREST ON MORTGAGE ESCROW ACCTS                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 12/29/95      2361    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2361    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2361    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, L&C, FINANCE                       
 01/18/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/18/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 01/23/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/23/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/01/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/01/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/20/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 422                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4457                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of CSHB 63(TRA).                               
                                                                               
 WALTER WILCOX, Legislative Assistant                                          
 House State Affairs Committee                                                 
 State Capitol, Room 102                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3743                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony on HJR 60.                          
                                                                               
 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant                                             
    to Representative Joe Green                                                
 State Capitol, 24                                                             
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony on HJR 51.                          
                                                                               
 ERIC STIRRUP, Owner                                                           
 Kodiak Western Charters                                                       
 P.O. Box 4123                                                                 
 Kodiak, Alaska 99615                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 486-2200                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony in support of HJR 51.               
                                                                               
 KEITH GREBA                                                                   
 504 Monastery                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 747-8309                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony on HJR 51.                          
                                                                               
 BARBARA BINGHAM                                                               
 P.O. Box 6112                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 747-5777                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony on HJR 51.                          
                                                                               
 KENT HALL                                                                     
 500 Lincoln Street, Number 641                                                
 Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 747-5089                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony on HJR 51.                          
                                                                               
 ALAN LEMASTER                                                                 
 P.O. Box 222                                                                  
 Gakona, Alaska 99586                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 822-3664                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony on HJR 51.                          
                                                                               
 MARK BUCHNER                                                                  
 P.O. Box 1103                                                                 
 Valdez, Alaska 99686                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 835-4435                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony on HJR 51.                          
                                                                               
 KRISTY TIBBLES, Legislative Secretary                                         
    to Representative Joe Green                                                
 State Capitol, Room 24                                                        
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided sponsor statement for HB 495.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 108                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4834                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of HB 363.                                     
                                                                               
 CRAIG INGHAM, President and Chief Executive Officer                           
 Mt McKinley Bank                                                              
 P.O. Box 73880                                                                
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 452-1751                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony in opposition to HB 363.            
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-20, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0000                                                                   
                                                                               
 The House State Affairs Committee was called to order by Chair                
 Jeannette James at 8:02 a.m.  Members present at the call to                  
 order were Representatives Robinson, Willis, Porter and James.                
 Members absent were Representatives Ivan, Green, and Ogan.                    
                                                                               
 HB  63 - DOG MUSHING VANITY PLATES                                          
                                                                               
 The first order of business to come before the House State                    
 Affairs Committee was CSSSHB 63(TRA).                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES announced HB 338 would not be heard today.              
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on Representative John Davies, sponsor of                  
 CSSSHB 63(TRA).                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0103                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES read the following sponsor statement               
 into the record.                                                              
                                                                               
 "With recent attacks on our state sport, it is more important                 
 than ever for Alaskans to show their enthusiastic support for dog             
 mushing.  While not a musher myself, dog mushing is a sport I                 
 enjoy following very much.  There is nothing quiet like watching              
 a good team moving quietly along the trails in Goldstream Valley              
 near sunset.  I am worried that the loss of financial backing for             
 the long distance races like the Quest and the Iditarod will                  
 erode support for the whole sport.                                            
                                                                               
 "For that reason, I introduced House Bill 63, which would allow               
 the Department of Public Safety to issue dog mushing license                  
 plates.  Clearly this bill is not going to solve all of the                   
 problems of the long-distance races, nor is it the most crucial               
 issue facing the state.  But it will encourage Alaskans to show               
 their zest for mushing.                                                       
                                                                               
 "House Bill 63 would allow automobile owners to purchase                      
 specially designed license plates depicting some aspect of                    
 mushing.  The extra $50 fee will more than pay for the plates and             
 any excess revenue could be appropriated to support dog mushing               
 programs.  Admittedly, the pool of money would be modest, but the             
 real objective would be met by making dog mushing more visible on             
 every street and parking lot in Alaska.  Moreover, is it gives                
 nonmushers an opportunity to bolster the mushing community with a             
 proud symbol of their support!"                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0247                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS commented the bill sounded good.                     
                                                                               
 Number 0255                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said she was a member of Mush With Pride and                      
 encouraged everyone to join.  The organization tried to put more              
 credibility into the sport of dog mushing and thwart adverse                  
 publicity.  She referred the committee members to page 1, line                
 10, and read "The department shall use the colors blue and gold               
 in designing the registration plates under this subsection."  She             
 said the color restrictions were a product of the difficulty of               
 identifying license plates.  She announced she did not want to                
 restrict the colors to blue and gold because she envisioned ugly              
 license plates.  She explained the Chair of the House                         
 Transportation Committee, Representative Gary Davies, stated the              
 plates did not have to be entirely blue and gold, but rather had              
 to include those colors.  Chair James suggested deleting that                 
 provision altogether.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0427                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER moved to adopted CSSSHB 63(TRA) for               
 consideration.  Hearing no objection, it was so adopted.                      
                                                                               
 Number 0452                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to delete on page 1, line 10,                     
 starting with "The department," and ending on line 11, with "this             
 subsection." (Amendment 1)  Hearing no objection, it was so                   
 deleted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 0494                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS wondered if Representative John Davies                  
 objected to the amendment.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0500                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES replied, "no."  He further stated there                 
 were a variety of opinions regarding the colors.  The Department              
 of Law felt it would be difficult to identify.  He also said some             
 plates were very distinctive such as the University of Alaska                 
 Fairbanks' (UAF) which enhanced the ability to identify it.  The              
 amendment, he stated, would return the bill to its original form              
 as introduced.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 0567                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the bill called for the Department of              
 Public Safety to approve the design and color, and the department             
 would not approve one that would cause a law enforcement problem.             
                                                                               
 Number 0581                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON commented the bill clearly gave the             
 power to the Commissioners.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0601                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES agreed, however, she also thought it was not a good               
 idea to restrict the ability of the artist to make an attractive              
 license plate.                                                                
                                                                               
 The record reflected the arrival of Representative Joe Green.                 
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES explained the amendment on the table to                           
 Representative Green.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0645                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked, if the colors were not in the                 
 design, was it a problem for the department?                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0660                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied that was the issue, but she did not hear any              
 testimony from the department in the House Transportation                     
 Committee regarding that concern directly.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES announced, hearing no objection to Amendment 1, it                
 was so adopted.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0740                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS moved that CSSSHB 63(STA), move from the                
 committee with individual recommendations and attached zero                   
 fiscal note.  Hearing no objection, it was so moved from the                  
 House State Affairs Committee.                                                
                                                                               
 HJR 60 - RS 2477 HIGHWAY RIGHTS OF WAY                                      
                                                                               
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Committee was HJR 60.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES announced HJR 60 was put forward by the House State               
 Affairs Committee, and called on Walter Wilcox, Legislative                   
 Assistant, House State Affairs Committee, to present the sponsor              
 statement.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0841                                                                   
                                                                               
 WALT WILCOX, Legislative Assistant, House State Affairs                       
 Committee, said HJR 60 dealt with Federal Revised Statute 2477                
 (RS 2477) that allowed roads and trails used prior to a certain               
 date to be turned into transportation corridors for future                    
 highways, rails, and trails.  He further stated the bill expired              
 in 1976 and Congress was trying to undo the RS 2477 access trails             
 across Alaska.  Therefore, HJR 60 supported the Congressional                 
 level resolutions that promoted the extension of the assertion                
 time and the ability of the state to maintain its current roads               
 and trails.  He said it was an important issue for Alaska,                    
 especially for the east to west transportation corridors, and                 
 encouraged the committee members to support the resolution.                   
                                                                               
 Number 0914                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that HJR 60 move from the committee               
 with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.                
                                                                               
 Number 0931                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS wondered about the hearing this summer in               
 Anchorage regarding RS 2477 and questioned the role of the                    
 Attorney General.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0954                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WILCOX replied the resolution had nothing to do with the                  
 Attorney General.  He further said HJR 60 supported Senators                  
 Murkowski and Stevens, and the ability of Alaska to retain its RS             
 2477 assertions.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0976                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said there were 11 cases prepared to go to court to               
 challenge the validity of the RS 2477 trails.  As a result of                 
 reductions in spending, however, the Department of Law had taken              
 no action against challenging those 11 cases.  The state had been             
 expecting action from Washington D.C. to give Alaska an extended              
 length of time to recognize the cases.  "The clock was ticking,"              
 she said, to assert these rights.  Therefore, money was spent for             
 nothing, and if there was not enough money to take the cases to               
 court, the next step was to expect the federal government to do               
 something.  That was the issue HJR 60 addressed.  It also put                 
 Alaska on record with Congress that the state supported it to                 
 preserve its RS 2477 right-of-ways.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1064                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said there was concern that the state had               
 not moved forward sufficiently to register the claims that were               
 ready.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1084                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES agreed that was a concern.  She said, many of the RS              
 2477 right-of-ways had been identified, but getting information               
 to use in court to assert the right was becoming difficult.                   
 There was testimony from the Attorney General that there was                  
 action in the federal government to extend the state's time.                  
 There was also a question of the notice time and whether it                   
 expired in July of 1996.  She reiterated there were 11 cases                  
 fully documented and ready to go to court.  She further said                  
 there were two ways to address the issue - through the state or               
 through the federal government.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER commented the two ways to address the issue             
 were not mutually exclusive.                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied, "no," they were not mutually exclusive.  The             
 best was probably to address it both ways.  At this point in                  
 time, however, the approach was through the federal government.               
                                                                               
 Number 1180                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WILCOX stated the legislature appropriated $1.2 million to                
 help fund this project, and more than 560 routes qualified as an              
 RS 2477 right-of-way.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1204                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER wondered why the 11 cases had not been                  
 filed.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1210                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said, according to the Attorney General, the                      
 Department of Law was focusing on other civil cases and this was              
 not a priority.  The department was also expecting an extension               
 from Congress.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1233                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WILCOX announced HJR 60 did not address private lands, only               
 public lands.  Mr. Wilcox further explained the zero fiscal note              
 was from the House State Affairs Committee, and the only cost                 
 incurred would be that which was needed to inform the Alaskan                 
 Congressional contingent the results.                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked again if there were any objections to the                   
 motion.  Hearing none, HJR 60 moved from the House State Affairs              
 Committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 The record reflected the arrival of Representative Scott Ogan at              
 8:23 a.m.                                                                     
                                                                               
 HJR 51 - SPORT FISHING GUIDE LIMITED ENTRY                                  
                                                                               
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Committee was HJR 51.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on Jeff Logan, Legislative Assistant to                    
 Representative Joe Green, to present HJR 51.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1315                                                                   
                                                                               
 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representataive Joe Green,               
 explained, when he presented HJR 51 to the committee members last             
 week, the questions primarily related to the specificity of the               
 language.  He said, after further research, the simple answer to              
 the questions, was politics.  The sponsor was concerned if the                
 language was too broad, the resolution would encounter the same               
 problems as Representative Scott Ogan encountered with his                    
 efforts to save the Big Game Commercial Services Board.  He                   
 called this a "catch-22" situation whereby the resource managers              
 could not take the necessary action without a constitutional                  
 amendment.  He said the concern expressed earlier regarding                   
 restricting other types of resources, such as brown bear guides,              
 through the constitution was valid.  However, based on the                    
 current information, it was unlikely that would be necessary for              
 quit some time.  He said in 1968 the legislature took action to               
 address fishery management issues and passed a bill that                      
 instituted limited entry.  Litigation followed, of which the                  
 state lost, and ultimately a ballot was put before the voters.                
 This, he explained, was how limited entry came about for                      
 commercial fisheries.  Therefore, a resolution was specific, but              
 it was not unprecedented.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1446                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered about sufficient data collected              
 before a decision was reached.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1463                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN replied there was a lot of anecdotal evidence.  He                  
 explained there were fisheries that were full of boats, and                   
 resource managers and users had asked for a limit.  He cited in               
 1991 the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation had a set of                
 regulations that were ruled patently unconstitutional.  He                    
 further stated, everyone knew the real solution to the problem                
 lied with something that would come after HJR 51.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1520                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered about the progress of HB 175,                
 Sport Fish Guide Licensing.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied HB 175 was moving forward.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness via teleconference in                 
 Kodiak, Eric Stirrup.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1550                                                                   
                                                                               
 ERIC STIRRUP, Owner, Kodiak Western Charters, said he strongly                
 supported HJR 51.  He said the state and the sport fish guide                 
 industry were at an important crossroads.  He said there were                 
 three choices - HJR 51, allocations quoted to each business, or               
 over capitalization.  He stated the business was growing by leaps             
 and bounds pushing the allocation window.  He asserted it was                 
 time the state considered HJR 51 as a management option.                      
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in                  
 Sitka, Keith Greba.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1630                                                                   
                                                                               
 KEITH GREBA said there was ample data to suggest a moratorium due             
 to the limited amount of resources.  He was also concerned about              
 the qualifications to become a guide and suggested it needed to               
 be looked at further, otherwise HJR 51 would not solve the                    
 problem.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1702                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Greba if he was in favor of HJR 51?                     
                                                                               
 Number 1703                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GREBA said he favored a moratorium, and addressing the area               
 of qualifications, before mandating a limited entry.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in                  
 Sitka, Barbara Bingham.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1763                                                                   
                                                                               
 BARBARA BINGHAM said conservation was the issue and a resource                
 should be managed for the end user.  She said a constitutional                
 amendment would not solve the problem, and restricting a                      
 particular group did not seem appropriate.  She also favored a                
 moratorium.                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in                  
 Sitka, Kent Hall.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1798                                                                   
                                                                               
 KENT HALL said a constitutional amendment was too drastic.  He                
 also favored a moratorium for control.                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in                  
 Gakona, Alan Lemaster.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1830                                                                   
                                                                               
 ALAN LEMASTER said he was listening at this point and trying to               
 formulate some ideas.  He cited, however, the Gakona River was                
 receiving more pressure every year as a result of problems on                 
 other rivers.  He said, if the trend was to continue, a                       
 regulation would be needed.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1887                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN said HJR 51 did not say "when" the limits would be                  
 imposed.  He asserted the limits would be the end result of a                 
 public process based on scientific data.  The resolution said the             
 state would have the power to impose a limitation, if needed.  He             
 asked the committee members, if saving important fisheries dear               
 to many Alaskans and tourists, was good statewide policy?                     
                                                                               
 Number 1942                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said she was struggling with this issues.  She was                
 not sure a constitutional amendment was the correct way to fix                
 the problem.  She agreed there was a problem, but she did not                 
 have any suggestions.  She stated the Alaska State Constitution               
 mandated the state manage fish and wildlife for sustainability,               
 but no one had tried to manage the state's resources in that                  
 manner due to politics.  She said some were unwilling to take the             
 political heat that had to be taken to address the problem.  She              
 announced she was not pleased with the limited entry program for              
 commercial fisheries, and she did not want to create a limited                
 entry permit that suddenly had a dollar value.                                
                                                                               
 Number 2030                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said, if it was that clear to everyone, it               
 would not be necessary to put the issue on a ballot.  House Joint             
 Resolution 51 removed any stigma, and cleared the way for a                   
 solution.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2090                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he supported the concept of HJR 51.  It              
 was imperative for the state to retain the ownership of the                   
 permits, he asserted.  He said it was also important to avoid                 
 what happened to commercial fisheries.  He said he was concerned              
 about Alaska loosing its resources and cited the vulnerability of             
 rock fish.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2179                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he agreed with Chair James regarding               
 the value of the permit.  He said there was the opportunity to                
 correct that, and suggested adding language to prevent it from                
 happening again.  He said he would be willing to take that up in              
 the House Judiciary Committee as Chair of the committee.                      
                                                                               
 Number 2223                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN reiterated HJR 51 was not the answer, it                 
 just opened the avenue for the answers.  There was the suggestion             
 of limiting guides to half-a-day - a morning guide and an                     
 afternoon guide, for example.  He further said the resolution did             
 not want to cause a rash of unqualified sport guides based on                 
 speculation.  However, he said limiting the value of the permit               
 was a legal question.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2282                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated she found it distressing that the state had                
 not found a way to follow the constitution.  She further said it              
 was not proper to use the constitution for special interests.                 
 She also alluded there was a timing issue involved, because it                
 was a presidential election year, and suggested the ballots were              
 being stacked.                                                                
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in                  
 Valdez, Mark Buchner.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2350                                                                   
                                                                               
 MARK BUCHNER said he was the owner of a gill net permit.  He said             
 he saved for 10 years to be able to buy the permit.  He said it               
 was not fair and suggested a place system for future limited                  
 entries.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES explained the next committees of referral for HJR 51              
 were the House Special Committee on Fisheries, and the House                  
 Judiciary Committee, and announced she felt comfortable moving                
 HJR 51 forward to those committees.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 2408                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered if HB 175 was also referred to               
 the House State Affairs Committee.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 2418                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER replied, "no."                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES explained the only reason the House State Affairs                 
 Committee was hearing HJR 51 was because it was a constitutional              
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2426                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she also struggled with HJR 51.  She             
 agreed there was a problem facing the state.  She was also                    
 concerned about taking an extreme action before all the data was              
 collected to determine the true problems.  She announced she did              
 not have a problem moving HJR 51 forward to the next committee of             
 referral - the House Special Committee on Fisheries.                          
                                                                               
 Number 2455                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES commented she was concerned about forwarding HJR 51               
 to the ballot without more information for the public.                        
                                                                               
 Number 2472                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said HB 175 should be in place as a modality              
 to identify sport guides.  He cited there was an attempt for a                
 point system on the Guide-Outfitter Use Areas Board for hunting               
 in a particular area.  He said there were many problems because               
 of the Owsichek v. State case which ruled the exclusive use of an           
 area was unconstitutional.                                                    
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-20, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0059                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN reiterated HJR 51 said the state "may" limit             
 sport guide fishing and required further legislation.  He                     
 reiterated the resolution assured there would not be an                       
 impediment and removed any stigma.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0107                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN addressed the data issue and referred the committee                 
 members to a proposal titled "The Kenai River Guide Limit                     
 Proposal."  He said it was backed-up by more data than the                    
 committee members would like to consider.  He further said any                
 proposal under the auspices of a constitutional amendment would               
 be backed-up by ample data.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0131                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said she understood the "sales technique" regarding               
 the constitutional amendment because the resolution was prompted              
 by a lot of support for a limited entry.                                      
                                                                               
 The record reflected the arrival of Representative Ivan Ivan at               
 8:55 a.m.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0154                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied, "I would like the record to reflect             
 that you have no idea what my intent is."  He said he did not                 
 enjoy having it on the record this was a sales technique, and was             
 very offended.  He asserted, the resolution was intended to open              
 the avenue for others to solve the problem.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0169                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES apologized to Representative Green.                               
                                                                               
 Number 0175                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated she was concerned a constitutional             
 amendment was too extreme when it could be discovered that it was             
 not the right direction needed.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0202                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied HJR 51 authorized a cure, it did not             
 mandate an answer.                                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES announced the presence of Representative Ivan Ivan                
 for the record.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0240                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON responded the cure needed to be                       
 concluded, before convincing the public a constitutional                      
 amendment was necessary.                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied, "the cart before the horse."                             
                                                                               
 Number 0253                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said, "that would put the cart before the                
 horse, exactly."  He cited a scenario where time and energy was               
 spent to determine a solution and the people said, "no."  He said             
 there was a good chance of a legal challenge, but at least it                 
 would be a possibility and the time would be spent for something.             
                                                                               
 Number 0289                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS wondered if a moratorium was a practical                
 way to address the permit issue.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0300                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded, without a constitutional                      
 amendment, there would be a legal challenge.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0318                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Green to respond to the fact                 
 that the Alaska State Constitution required the state to manage               
 its fish and game on a sustainable yield basis, and wondered what             
 the options were.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0329                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied the state managed it resources                    
 through seasons and bag limits.  He said a moratorium was not                 
 possible because it would restrict commerce.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0357                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN cited the water shortage in Orange County                
 California whereby at one time the people believed the aquifer                
 was more than sustainable.  He said, as an analogy, when the                  
 constitution was passed, there was probably more fish than man                
 could ever catch.  However, the population and number of people               
 fishing had increased creating a problem with allocation because              
 the resources could no longer sustain the appetites of the users.             
 He agreed meddling with the constitution was risky.  He said HJR              
 51 did not meddle with it, it just made it clearer.                           
                                                                               
 Number 0436                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN reiterated he supported HJR 51.  He called it             
 an enabling amendment that gave latitude to resource managers.                
                                                                               
 Number 0471                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved that HJR 51 move from committee with                
 individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.  Hearing no             
 objection, it was so moved from the House State Affairs                       
 Committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 HB 495 - NONE OF THE ABOVE OPTION IN ELECTIONS                               
                                                                               
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Committee was HB 495.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on Kristy Tibbles, Legislative Secretary to                
 Representative Joe Green, to present the sponsor statement.                   
                                                                               
 Number 0525                                                                   
                                                                               
 KRISTY TIBBLES, Legislative Secretary to Representative Joe                   
 Green, read the following sponsor statement into the record.                  
                                                                               
 "In the 1994 Alaska gubernatorial election, 119,558 registered                
 voters did not vote.  This number represents 35.6% of registered              
 voters.  This high rate of voter apathy is often reflected                    
 nationwide.  While there may be several reasons for this nonvoter             
 group to be so large, one reason often mentioned is that people               
 just did not like any of the candidates for particular offices.               
 As Americans and Alaskans, to all those who have died to                      
 establish and preserve this precious heritage, we have an                     
 obligation to exercise this invaluable right to vote.                         
                                                                               
 "House Bill 495, if enacted, would provide citizens with an                   
 incentive to vote even though they may be dissatisfied with all               
 the candidates and would otherwise not take the time to vote.                 
 Nonvoting is a poor method of registering protest and therefore               
 HB 495 will give voters a better alternative.  It will also                   
 encourage them to develop the good habit of voting.                           
                                                                               
 "Only votes cast for candidates shall be counted in determining               
 election to any office.  The candidate receiving the majority of              
 yes votes (unless a minimum number is required) shall prevail.                
 There will not be a re-election, even if the results for "none of             
 these candidate" receives the highest number of votes cast in any             
 particular contested position.  Presidential elections, elections             
 for delegates to a constitutional convention, municipal/borough,              
 and school board election are excluded.                                       
                                                                               
 "While NOTA has no legal effect, it does allow the voting public              
 to express themselves.  By providing citizens with this option,               
 there is a potential that Alaska's voters turnout for the coming              
 1996 election may increase.  NOTA may also have an impact on                  
 negative campaigning, leading to cleaner, more issue-oriented                 
 campaign races."                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0611                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented that not voting was a show of no                
 support.  He said, when he was not sure about a particular                    
 candidate, he did not vote for anybody.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0633                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. TIBBLES responded there were many people that did not show to             
 vote at all, and HB 495 would encourage those who gave-up to come             
 forward and vote.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0645                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said HB 495 was a proactive means to get the             
 people to vote.  It was not a reaction or a non-action.                       
                                                                               
 Number 0690                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER wondered if there were instructions to                  
 check a spot, if the voter did not know enough about the issue or             
 candidate to vote for none of the above.  He further said he did              
 not support HB 495.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0707                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said NOTA was growing in popularity across               
 the United States.  He cited Nevada used NOTA in its general and              
 primary elections.  He also cited one-half of the states used it              
 in the primary. He said NOTA did not imply time was not taken to              
 understand the candidates, and furthermore, if a voter did not                
 take the time to understand the candidates, he probably would not             
 read the instructions anyway.  The concept of NOTA was to keep                
 the voters proactive, even if they did not like the candidates,               
 he stated.  He further said NOTA would eliminate any doubt why                
 the people were not voting.  He lastly said it was a floating                 
 concept to energize the large number of non-voters.                           
                                                                               
 Number 0815                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said a low voter turnout was an                       
 indication the voters did not support any of the candidates.  She             
 stated she was concerned about the cost when the state was trying             
 to cut the budget.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0896                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied 70 percent of the fiscal note was                
 based on a "potential" cost.  He said as the ballots were printed             
 another line would be needed for NOTA, and if there were many of              
 these, an additional ballot would be necessary requiring another              
 $53.4 thousand otherwise only $30 thousand.  He explained it was              
 not an automatic $84.9 thousand.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0933                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said 2,834 people in her district did not vote last               
 year out of approximately 8,000 people.  She sent those 2,834                 
 people that did not vote a letter and response card indicating                
 her interest as to why they did not vote.  She cited out of the               
 2,834 cards mailed, 1,422 were returned not received by the                   
 addressee, and only 114 people mailed the card back.  The                     
 following were the responses:  45 were absent from town, 19 had a             
 problem with the absentee ballot, 13 did not register to vote in              
 time, 11 had transportation problems, 6 said they did vote, 5                 
 were fed-up with the candidates, 4 said there was not enough                  
 information, 3 said they did not have time, 2 were ill, 2, were               
 not interested, 1 had a death in the family, 1 was experiencing               
 marital problems, 1 had a baby, and 1 slept during the day.                   
 Chair James said, based on the results, the people did not vote               
 because they were fed-up contrary to her initial belief.  She                 
 said when she first saw the presentation on NOTA in 1994 she was              
 excited about it because she thought many people were fed-up, and             
 thought NOTA created the potential for better candidates.                     
 However, after the survey, she decided it was not the case that               
 voters were fed-up.  She said a big problem was that voter                    
 registrations were not purged.  She also stated a better absentee             
 ballot process was needed to guarantee a greater turnout.                     
                                                                               
 Number 1085                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied the statistics Chair James shared                
 with the committee members did not reflect the national                       
 statistics, but was probably reflective of Alaska.                            
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said it was an expensive process, but treasured the               
 information like it was the bible.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1134                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said there was a write-in option, if a                  
 voter was not satisfied with the names on the ballot.  He cited               
 Mr. Hickel came very close to winning a gubernatorial race on a               
 write-in.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1174                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said, if NOTA could change an election, there would               
 be a reason for a write-in candidate, and not to just make a                  
 statement.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1208                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved that HB 495 move from committee with               
 individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.                          
 Representative Porter objected, so a roll call vote was taken.                
 Representatives James, Ogan, Ivan, and Porter voted against                   
 moving the bill.  Representatives Green, Robinson and Willis                  
 voted in favor of moving the bill.  So HB 495 did not move from               
 the House State Affairs Committee.                                            
                                                                               
 HB 363 - INTEREST ON MORTGAGE ESCROW ACCTS                                  
                                                                               
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Committee was the proposed CSHB 363(STA).                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the sponsor of the proposed CSHB 363(STA),              
 Representative Con Bunde.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1320                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE said the proposed CSHB 363(STA) shed                 
 more sunshine on the escrow business without disrupting the                   
 financial mortgage services in Alaska.  He stated the proposed                
 CSHB 363(STA) incorporated three changes.  He referred the                    
 committee members to page 1, line 6, and explained the word                   
 "assessments," was added because mortgage money was often used                
 for repairs.  He also referred the committee members to page 1,               
 line 9, which stated the "The rate of interest paid on that money             
 shall equal three percent..."  He further referred the committee            
 members to page 1, line 14, section (c), which required lending               
 institutions to produce a year-end report that included:  the                 
 cost to administer the account, the amount in the account on the              
 last day of each month, the amount of interest earned on that                 
 account, and a schedule of payments made by the bank from the                 
 account.  He stated this information gave the consumer choices.               
 He said lending institutions advertized their interest rates as               
 part of the service provided and the information would allow for              
 more competition.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1546                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered about the increase in the                    
 interest rate from 2 percent to 3 percent.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1560                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said it was actually a decrease.  The                    
 original bill stated 2 percent below prime and 3 percent was                  
 passbook savings.  He said the prime was too much of a burden to              
 calculate.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1575                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said Section 1 created a state sanction for             
 a violation of a federal law, and wondered what the federal                   
 sanction was for violating the federal law.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1602                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied that was a good question.  He was                
 not sure what the sanction was for a violation of a federal law.              
                                                                               
 Number 1633                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said a federal law was usually enforced by              
 the feds and it was ironic that a state should enforce it.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1662                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said Representative Porter had a valid                   
 point, however, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)             
 was not high on the category of crimes according to the federal               
 government.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1674                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER wondered if the reporting requirements in               
 Section 1, subsection (c) were obtainable because the banks co-               
 mingled funds.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1717                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said the banking institutions co-mingled                 
 funds, and the escrows ended-up in an account, and interest was               
 paid per dollar.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1722                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER commented the interest the account earned               
 was a moving target.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said it was the average interest at the end              
 of the month that was being looked at.  He said the amount of                 
 interest earned varied daily, and the bill required the amount                
 earned for the month.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1770                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said an interest daily calculation was required                   
 because the balance in the account would vary.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said this was done electronically and any                
 institution making a profit was well aware of what was happening              
 daily to shift funds.  He said this would not be an onerous                   
 burden.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1835                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said, in response to Representative                   
 Porter's question, the sanctions would probably fall under a                  
 regulation that was not being followed.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1868                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said she assumed the bank examiners would determine               
 if a bank was not following the law and act accordingly.  She                 
 further stated there was no evidence within Alaska that the banks             
 were not following the RESPA law.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1938                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said testimony indicated banks were having               
 problems meeting RESPA limitations and were moving rapidly into               
 compliance.  He said there was a bank regulating portion of the               
 state government that would be aware of when an institution broke             
 the RESPA rules whereby the 3 percent interest would kick-in.                 
                                                                               
 Number 2000                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said the cost of the information required at the end              
 of each year would be born by the consumer.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 2038                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said banks calculated interest rates daily               
 now so it would probably amount to printing three more lines, for             
 example, on their annual report.                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in                  
 Fairbanks, Craig Ingham.                                                      
                                                                               
 CRAIG INGHAM, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mt McKinley              
 Bank, said the cost of the added disclosure according the                     
 Representative Bunde was untrue.  The amount of revenue and                   
 expense for each loan was constant.  The cost to service a $50                
 thousand mortgage was the same as servicing a $250 thousand                   
 mortgage, but the revenue received was greater on the $250                    
 thousand mortgage.  He stated, if there was a problem disclosing              
 proper information to the consumer, the federal government was                
 better equipped to properly inform the borrowers under the                    
 disclosure rules that were in effect right now.  He said he                   
 really did not see the purpose of the bill.  It was changed to a              
 penalty driven piece of legislation.  He said, if the banks                   
 failed to follow the federal regulations that went into effect                
 the first of this year, it faced a civil penalty.  The banks, he              
 asserted, would not be foolish enough to violate those penalties.             
 He questioned if an additional law was needed.  He said he saw no             
 purpose in the piece of legislation except to create an added                 
 burden on banks.  He said the consumer would not benefit.  He                 
 said the balance and account activity was already provided under              
 federal regulations, and a penalty would be more than paying 3                
 percent interest on the amount over RESPA regulations required in             
 this bill.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2392                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked Mr. Ingham if the federal regulations              
 required all the calculations the bill required.                              
                                                                               
 Number 2411                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. INGHAM replied, "no."  He said the cost to the bank would                 
 require an analysis at a great cost to the bank with no benefit               
 to the consumer at all.  He said he was not sure if it could be               
 done accurately.  He said it was possible on an aggregate basis,              
 but did not see how it could be done on an individual basis,                  
 accurately, even with the technology.  He further said the                    
 account balance on the last day of each month would be zero, and              
 questioned the need for a data base field for a zero balance.  He             
 also stated a schedule of payments made by the bank was required              
 under federal law.  He said Section 1, subsection (c) was a                   
 duplication of federal regulations.  He said this legislation did             
 not protect the consumer, but created a burden on the banks.                  
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-21, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 174                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE respectfully disagreed with Mr. Ingham                   
 regarding the sharing of the information.  Mr. Ingham said it                 
 would be burdensome to share that with the consumer.                          
                                                                               
 Number 205                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said Mr. Ingham indicated the cost to the bank of                 
 administering the account was the same for each mortgage.                     
 Therefore, the information would be easy to obtain by dividing                
 the number of accounts by the cost.  The amount that was in the               
 account on the last day of each month was already provided,                   
 therefore, that was not a problem.  The amount of interest earned             
 on the account each month was a problem, however.  A schedule of              
 payments made by the bank from the account was already provided,              
 therefore, that was a problem as well.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 348                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. INGHAM replied, the cost to the bank of administering the                 
 account was not as simple as Chair James indicated, because each              
 loan was different.  He said a loan might have a private mortgage             
 insurance on it, for example.  He said it would be very                       
 cumbersome to calculate on an individual account basis.  He                   
 further reiterated items 2-4 were properly addressed under                    
 federal regulations.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 428                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Ingham if this bill was a duplicate of                  
 federal regulation enforcement?                                               
                                                                               
 Number 453                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. INGHAM replied, "absolutely."  He said the regulations were               
 relatively new, but by the end of the year the institutions would             
 be complying or pay the heavy civil penalty.  He further said                 
 right now there was a program that did not allow a bank to have               
 more than a $50 overage in the account.  Therefore, automatically             
 the system did not allow a bank to hold an excess amount because              
 of the risk of penalties.  He said the banks were doing what                  
 needed to be done, and following the federal regulations.  He                 
 said he wished the state would not make it any tougher to the                 
 detriment of the consumer.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 558                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented there was interest paid on his                 
 checking and saving accounts daily, and wondered why it would be              
 burdensome to a bank to calculate an escrow account.                          
                                                                               
 Number 612                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. INGHAM said if the law mandated a 3 percent interest paid on              
 the escrow account it would not be a problem, but the bill                    
 required reporting disclosure and a penalty based on an excess.               
 He wondered again if a state law was necessary when a federal law             
 existed.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 693                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said testimony indicated banks were not                  
 following the federal law, and yet Mr. Ingham indicated there was             
 heavy civil penalty for a bank that did not follow the federal                
 law, and wondered which scenario was true.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 710                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES reiterated there was no information available that                
 Alaskan banks were violating the federal laws.                                
                                                                               
 Number 728                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the regulations were more recent.                  
                                                                               
 Number 756                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said the original RESPA put into place in                
 the 1980's was not obeyed.  It was tighten-up this year, and                  
 asserted it was disingenuous to state institutions had been                   
 following the law.  He further said, if they followed the federal             
 law, this law should not be of great concern.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 789                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied the 3 percent interested was not a problem.               
 She said she was concerned the cost to the bank of administering              
 the account was a nightmare based on personal experience as an                
 accountant.  The amount of interest earned on the account each                
 month could be done, she said, but saw no real need and it was                
 difficult to obtain.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 886                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked, if the amount of interest earned on               
 the account each month could be calculated daily, or at the end               
 of each month?                                                                
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said it depended where the money was invested.                    
                                                                               
 Number 900                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE wondered if it would be less burdensome to               
 say the amount of interest earned that year.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 920                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied she was certain the banks had the number                  
 earned on the accumulated balance of the escrow accounts, but                 
 unless it was calculated daily, it would not be accurate.                     
                                                                               
 Number 959                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated a bank would have to know the cost                
 and how much it made or it was not a good business entity, and                
 wondered why there was such a resistance to provide that                      
 information to the consumer.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1005                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said this should be more of a policy call for             
 a bank.  He cited, if it was advantageous or there was a consumer             
 demand, then a bank should do it.  He said he agreed with                     
 Representative Porter that the bill was enforcing a federal                   
 mandate.  He also said the issue had been belabored enough.                   
                                                                               
 Number 1066                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved to accept the proposed CSHB 363(STA)               
 for consideration.  Hearing no objection, it was so accepted.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she appreciated the sponsor and the              
 bill, but was concerned about implementing a state law when there             
 was a federal law in place.  She also believed this was an issue              
 for the House Labor and Commerce Committee and would support                  
 moving the bill forward to that committee.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said she supported moving the bill to the next                    
 committee of referral because she did not want to see it anymore.             
                                                                               
 Number 1108                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved that CSHB 363(STA) move from committee             
 with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.                     
 Representative Ogan objected, so a roll call vote was taken.                  
 Representatives James, Green, Ivan, Robinson, and Willis voted in             
 favor of moving the bill.  Representatives Ogan and Porter voted              
 against moving the bill.  So CSHB 363(STA) moved from the House               
 State Affairs Committee.                                                      
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1261                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Committee at 9:57               
 a.m.                                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               

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