Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/05/1998 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                                  
                   March 5, 1998                                               
                     8:02 a.m.                                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
                                                                               
Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                          
Representative Ivan Ivan, Vice Chairman                                        
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                 
Representative Fred Dyson                                                      
Representative Kim Elton                                                       
Representative Mark Hodgins                                                    
Representative Al Vezey                                                        
                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
                                                                               
All members present                                                            
                                                                               
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
                                                                               
SENATE BILL 265                                                                
"An Act designating the moose as the state land mammal."                       
                                                                               
     - MOVED SB 265 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
* HOUSE BILL 413                                                               
"An Act relating to disclosure of compensation paid to sponsors of             
initiative petitions; placing limitations on the compensation that             
may be paid to sponsors of initiative petitions; and prohibiting               
payments to persons who sign or refrain from signing initiative                
petitions."                                                                    
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 413(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
* HOUSE BILL 359                                                               
"An Act relating to regulation of health insurance plans; and                  
providing for an effective date."                                              
                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
                                                                               
HOUSE BILL 362                                                                 
"An Act relating to the use of space for military lounges in state-            
owned or state- controlled airports."                                          
                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
                                                                               
* HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 59                                                    
Relating to an amendment to the Constitution of the United States              
prohibiting desecration of the Flag of the United States.                      
                                                                               
     - MOVED HJR 59 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
* HOUSE BILL 329                                                               
"An Act amending the definition of correctional facility to include            
a therapeutic treatment center; providing for the conveyance of the            
Harborview Developmental Center and appurtenant land to the City of            
Valdez for the purpose of conversion and lease of a part of the                
center for a therapeutic treatment center for the Department of                
Corrections; providing that such a land conveyance counts toward               
the general grant land entitlement of the City of Valdez; and                  
providing for an effective date."                                              
                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
                                                                               
* HOUSE BILL 338                                                               
"An Act relating to the repeal of provisions of the Administrative             
Procedure Act, prohibiting the adoption of regulations by an agency            
of the executive branch of state government, annulling all                     
regulations adopted by an agency of the executive branch, and                  
relating to additional legislation to carry out the purposes of                
this Act; and providing for an effective date."                                
                                                                               
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                 
(* First public hearing)                                                       
                                                                               
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                
                                                                               
BILL: SB 265                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: MOOSE AS STATE MAMMAL                                             
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) TORGERSON, Pearce, Taylor, Kelly, Wilken,               
Miller, Leman; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Nicholia                                      
                                                                               
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
01/27/98      2318     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  

01/27/98 2318 (S) STATE AFFAIRS 02/10/98 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/10/98 (S) MINUTE(STA) 02/11/98 2480 (S) STA RPT 4DP 02/11/98 2480 (S) DP: GREEN, DUNCAN, MILLER, WARD 02/11/98 2480 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (S.STA) 02/18/98 (S) RLS AT 11:30 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 02/18/98 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 02/20/98 2592 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 2/20/98 02/20/98 2593 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 02/20/98 2593 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 02/20/98 2593 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SB 265 02/20/98 2593 (S) COSPONSOR(S): TAYLOR, KELLY, 02/20/98 2593 (S) WILKEN, MILLER, LEMAN 02/20/98 2593 (S) PASSED Y17 N- E3 02/20/98 2597 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 02/23/98 2401 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/23/98 2401 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 02/23/98 2410 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): NICHOLIA 03/03/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/05/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 413 SHORT TITLE: INITIATIVE PETITION COMPENSATION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) ELTON Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 02/16/98 2331 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/16/98 2331 (H) STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/03/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/05/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 359 SHORT TITLE: HEALTH INSURANCE REGULATION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) RYAN Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action

01/28/98 2153 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)

01/28/98 2153 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, LABOR & COMMERCE 03/03/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/05/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 362 SHORT TITLE: AIRPORT MILITARY LOUNGES SPONSOR(S): SPECIAL CMTE MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action

01/28/98 2153 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)

01/28/98 2154 (H) MLV, STATE AFFAIRS 02/19/98 (H) MLV AT 4:30 PM CAPITOL 17 02/19/98 (H) MINUTE(MLV) 02/24/98 (H) MLV AT 4:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/24/98 (H) MINUTE(MLV) 02/25/98 2427 (H) MLV RPT 7DP 02/25/98 2428 (H) DP: RYAN, KOTT, NICHOLIA, FOSTER, JOULE, MULDER, MASEK 02/25/98 2428 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOT) 03/03/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/05/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HJR 59 SHORT TITLE: DESECRATION OF U.S. FLAG SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) KOTT, Martin, Austerman, Barnes Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 02/12/98 2307 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/98 2307 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 03/03/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/05/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 329 SHORT TITLE: HARBORVIEW DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action

01/16/98 2068 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)

01/16/98 2068 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE

01/16/98 2068 (H) FISCAL NOTE (COR)

01/16/98 2068 (H) 3 ZERO FNS (ADM, DHSS, DNR)

01/16/98 2068 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 03/03/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/05/98 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 WITNESS REGISTER SENATOR JOHN TORGERSON Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 514 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2828 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 265. ELYSE DEHLBOM, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. BLAKE GABRIEL, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. JANELLE BROWN, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. ALEX STORY, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. ZACHARY LESLIE, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. ASHLEY RABALAIS, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. CASEY FOSTER, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. REMINGTON WEST, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. JESSICA WIGGINS, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. CORTNI BROWN, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. AMANDA LESLIE, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. HANNA WEST, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. LANDON DOVER, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. ALEXANDER WEST, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. BRIAN HIBBERD, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. RYAN WALTON, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. CLYDE FOLLEY, Student Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School 1049 Poppy Lane Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 265. BROOKE MILES, Appointee Alaska Public Officers Commission P.O. Box 22676 Juneau Alaska 99802-2676 Telephone: (907) 465-4864 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 413. DONALD STOLWORTHY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Beverly Masek Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 432 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2679 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of Representative Masek, sponsor of HB 362. TOM MORGAN, Executive, Director Armed Services Young Men Christian Association 19341 Upper Skyline Drive Eagle River, Alaska 99577 Telephone: (907) 552-9622 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 362. DENNIS POSHARD, Legislative Liaison Office of the Commissioner Department of Transportation and Public Facilities 3132 Channel Drive Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3904 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 362. JAMES HORNADAY, Legislative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 204 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-6848 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of Representative Kott, sponsor of HJR 59. LARAINE DERR, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Housing Association 319 Seward Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-1790 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 329. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 98-30, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES called the House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting to order at 8:02 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives James, Berkowitz, Elton, Hodgins and Vezey. Representatives Dyson and Ivan joined the meeting at 8:04 a.m. and 9:07 a.m. respectively. SB 265 - MOOSE AS STATE MAMMAL CHAIR JAMES announced the next order of business is, SB 265, "An Act designating the moose as the state land mammal," sponsored by Senator Torgerson. Number 0008 SENATOR JOHN TORGERSON, Alaska State Legislature, said he introduced SB 265 on behalf of Kalifornisky (K-Beach) Elementary School in Soldotna. One of the parents discovered Alaska did not have an identified land mammal as the official state mammal, Alaska does have a marine mammal. He indicated that parent asked him to work with the students of K-Beach in naming a mammal as the land mammal. SENATOR TORGERSON mentioned the process began in October, the faculty divided the students up into teams, each team took a particular animal and researched it and then came together with their ideas, and had interaction with the state biologist. The school then went to a primary vote, then they narrowed that down to four, and held a general election. The final tally was the moose won by 230 votes, the wolfe had 97 votes, the brown bear had 57 votes, and the wolverine had 28 votes. He mentioned the school mascot is the caribou but the caribou did not make the final four. SENATOR TORGERSON pointed out the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the City of Soldotna provided several resolutions in favor of SB 265. The students are certainly learning the legislative process as well as other lessons in primary and general elections. Senator Torgerson said, "I believe we have on-line about 15 lobbyists from that school who would like to make a presentation to the committee to give you more insight on how they reached their decision." Number 0081 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY said, "Don't you think it would be a little more demographic, or democratic, if we narrowed this down to the moose being the state ungulate." SENATOR TORGERSON said the students are prepared to defend their selection of the moose over other species. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he was hoping he would explain how the caribou lost. He indicated the caribou is his favorite mammal and ungulate, the animal that has provided a major part of the food chain in Alaska for hundreds of thousands of years and is symbolic of Alaska's Arctic culture. SENATOR TORGERSON said he would again defer that to the students. Number 0121 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON asked if there was any opposition in the Senate. SENATOR TORGERSON replied no. REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS jokingly replied to Representative Vezey's question, he said the moose has a bigger constituency. CHAIR JAMES noted for the record that both Representative Dyson and Ivan are present. Number 0142 ELYSE DEHLBOM, Fifth Grade student, K-Beach Elementary School, testified via teleconference in support of SB 265. She said, "Honorable members of the House of Representatives, we represent the students of Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, thank you for this opportunity to speak to you. We're here today to explain our reasons for selecting the moose to be the official land mammal and to seek your support of SB 265." BLAKE GABRIEL, Fifth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "Since school began last fall, we have done extensive research on the mammals of Alaska. The moose became our top choice after a primary and general election. Several class representatives will now present some pertinent facts for supporting the moose as the official land mammal." JANELLE BROWN, First Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. She said, "The species, a moose we see in Alaska, is not found in any other state in the United States." ALEX STORY, Second Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "The moose is gentle animal and cares for it's young for a full year." Number 0173 ZACHARY LESLIE, First Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "The moose does not harm other animals, it is an herbivore and eats only plants." ASHLEY RABALAIS, Third Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. She said, "The moose played an important role in the early development of Alaska. Professional hunters supplied moose meat to the early mining camps." CASEY FOSTER, Fifth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "The Athabaskan culture and some Eskimo cultures were dependent on moose for food, clothing and implements." REMINGTON WEST, Second Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "Currently the moose is the most hunted animal in Alaska and provides 3.5 million pounds of meat to the people of Alaska yearly." JESSICA WIGGINS, Sixth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. She said, "The moose is found in 85 percent of the state, from the Colville River on the North Slope to the Stikine River in the Southeast Panhandle." Number 0205 CORTNI BROWN, Fifth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. She said, "Though thought a nuisance for the number of accidents on roadways and railways, the moose is not at fault as man has encroached on their original territory." AMANDA LESLIE, Fourth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. She said, "The current estimated number of moose in Alaska is 170 thousand, they are abundant." HANNA WEST, First Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. She said, "Most tourists expect to see a moose when visiting Alaska. Many are happy to have their wishes fulfilled." LANDON DOVER, Fourth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "Moose are a frequent subject of tourism, tourists, photography and a factor in the growing echotourism industry." ALEXANDER WEST, Third Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "If the moose becomes the state mammal we can expect to see an increase in products of the moose shown on them, like we now see the forget-me-not flowers. This could be an economic boost if promoted properly the moose can increase revenue for the tourism industry." BRIAN HIBBERD, Fifth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School, was next to testify. He said, "During the process of selecting an animal to be the state land mammal, we considered all the animals in the state. We carefully researched the school's top choices, searching for the animal that best represents the state of Alaska. Hopefully you will agree with us that the moose is an excellent choice." RYAN WALTON, Sixth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School was next to testify. He said, "The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and the Soldotna City Council have both passed resolutions supporting SB 265. As you know the State Senate has also voted in favor of the bill, it is our hope that you will do the same and support the moose as Alaska's official state land mammal." CLYDE FOLLEY, Sixth Grade Student, Kalifornisky Beach Elementary School was next to testify. He said, "From all of us at Kalifornisky Beach Elementary we thank you for this opportunity to speak to you and for your time and consideration of SB 265." Number 0265 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to move SB 265 from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY jokingly objected and suggested it be put in a subcommittee. Number 0292 SENATOR TORGERSON gave a brief overview of the student's testimony. He said, "Our students mentioned that the moose is abundant, there's 170 thousand of them across the state, they cover 86 percent of the landmass, they're the number one food source, they have cultural ties to the indigenous people of the state of Alaska, they are a tourist attraction, and passage of this bill would be a huge economic development if selected. I think those are the reasons that came out on top of the caribou or other species." REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he has a bill coming through the legislature that legalizes the farming of moose and caribou, [laughter] which will make them even more valuable and hopefully plentiful in the state. He said he will be delighted to have the students testify when his bill is up in a committee. He indicated the Department of Fish and Game is mobilizing their forces to stop this bill. SENATOR TORGERSON said he would provide Representative Dyson the school's fax number and they can take it under advisement. CHAIR JAMES asked if the objection was maintained. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY replied that he would like to vote on it. Number 0318 CHAIR JAMES requested a roll call. All members voted in support of moving SB 265 out of the State Affairs Standing Committee. HB 413 - INITIATIVE PETITION COMPENSATION Number 0337 CHAIR JAMES stated that the next order of business would be HB 413, "An Act relating to disclosure of compensation paid to sponsors of initiative petitions; placing limitations on the compensation that may be paid to sponsors of initiative petitions; and prohibiting payments to persons who sign or refrain from signing initiative petitions." She stated that there is a committee substitute and asked sponsor, Representative to Elton talk to the changes. Number 0350 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON stated that the committee substitute has a new Section 2 and 3, and then the other sections are renumbered accordingly. He explained that Section 2 provides that a group, that sponsors an initiative or other groups that are formed to either support or oppose the initiative must report within 30 days after filing with the Lieutenant Governor's office and shall report also with 30 days after solicitation or acceptance of an contribution has occurred. He stated that after the initial reporting, they must report within 10 calendar days after the end of each calendar year quarter. Number 0353 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that Section 3 redefines "group", the reason this section is in the bill is because under the Alaska Public Officers Commission's (APOC) statutes there is a requirement for groups to report. He stated that the requirement has been in statute since 1977, but because the definition of group has been somewhat vague, they had to redefine it. He stated that the only other change in the bill is a change in Section 4, page 3, the words "and disclosure" have been added. CHAIR JAMES asked where in Section 2, is it outlined when the reports are due, is that a requirement for any group or is it going to have a separate reporting schedule. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON replied that it would be for any group that sponsors an initiative petition or any other group that forms in support of that initiative or in opposition to that initiative. CHAIR JAMES stated that there are groups that are recognized as groups who are currently on a reporting system. She asked if this reporting system is different from theirs. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON replied that this bill adopts fairly closely a provision that has been in statute since 1977, that has never been enforced due to confusion of the definition of groups. CHAIR JAMES asked Brooke Miles to come up. She stated that the reason she is asking this question is because now there is a new group that is going to be reporting that has not been reporting. She stated that her concern is whether or not that group should comply at the same reporting dates as other groups for simplicity, as opposed to setting separate reporting times. Number 0414 BROOKE MILES, Alaska Public Officers Commission, stated that currently what APOC requires from initiative groups is that they file a registration as a group within 30 days of having their petition certified by the Division of Elections, subsequent to that they are filing reports within 10 days after each calendar quarter, so they are already under this separate reporting requirement. In part it is because of how initiative groups form and report. Once the regular election report for other groups kick in they then go to that pattern. She stated that the quarterly requirement on groups is just preliminary. CHAIR JAMES asked if it was true that if there was a Political Action Committee (PAC) that was recognized as a group, that PAC would only have to report during the election cycle, the rest of the year they wouldn't have to report. MS. MILES replied that was correct. PAC report on the same schedule as candidates. This bill would require fuller disclosure by these initiative groups. She stated that under current law it has been the commission's staff advice to filers that they are not required to file their financial disclosure reports concerning their contributions and expenditures until after the signature gathering process. This bill would require disclosure of their contributions and expenditures during the... CHAIR JAMES stated that her concern is how that schedule fit into the existing schedule as far as workloads. Number 0449 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ stated that he just looked at the changes and stated that he would like to have a minimal amount for the expenditures in Section 2. For example, if he and Representative James decided to oppose a referendum, and made a long distant phone call to another legislator, that phone call would be considered an expenditure. He stated that this places an unfair burden on the citizen who is trying to get involved in the process. He stated that the requirement now is that one has to make a report after there is an expenditure and a group is defined as two or more people acting together to sponsor or oppose an initiative. He stated that if two people decided they did not like an initiative, wanted to do something about it, felt a third person was needed and an expenditure was made to contact that person, they would therefore, come within the reach of that statute. He stated that he did not believe that was the intent of the definition of group. He thought that the definition's intent was to apply to folks that are truly organized and have made more than a minimal expenditure. Number 0476 CHAIR JAMES stated that what she visualized this to be, is that the report is not just based on the making of an expenditure but the solicitation or acceptance of a contribution. She explained that if one was in a group and the group had not taken any contributions and he made a call to a third person that would be his personal expense and would not trigger a report. She stated that if he did take in some money and an account was established that would trigger compliance. She stated that you can't make an expenditure when there isn't a contribution. Number 0487 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that part of the problem is with the word "or" on line 8, page 2. He stated that once the expenditure is made it has nothing to do with the solicitation. He stated that if "or the making of an expenditure" was removed that would be fine. REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS stated that it was his understanding that this bill was to come forward similar to the APOC reporting for candidates. He asked if it was true that there is a report that one fills out if less then $1,000 is spent and would that work with groups. CHAIR JAMES stated that her sense of what needs to be done is that the people need to register when they form and if they are not going to be spending more than $1000, maybe they do not need to report. She stated that an initiative is just as much a political issue as any other ballot measure. You can't make an expenditure without having a contribution. She stated that most likely if an expenditure was made a contribution would then be received. Number 0515 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that is only the period of time that the initiative group is out there soliciting signatures. He stated that this would apply to groups that were trying to effect the gathering of signatures. He stated that he did not think that they were creating a problem with the "or the making of an expenditure", if indeed the group that applies to the initiative petition signature gathering phase is the same definition of group that they apply to any other campaign. MS. MILES stated that the nature of groups that support a ballot proposition is different from other groups and they have a different kind of constitutional protection. Therefore, there has never been a limit on what individuals can contribute to those groups. Number 0537 CHAIR JAMES asked if she was comfortable with the groups not filing if they are not making any expenditures or taking any contributions. MS. MILES replied that they would still have to register and in fact they would have to file a report. CHAIR JAMES asked if it says that in the bill because she did not see that and asked if this currently is being done. MS. MILES replied that it is being done after the initial petition is certified by the Division of Elections to go forward, within 30 days of that date the commission requires registration. CHAIR JAMES asked but they can not get that petition done for free. MS. MILES responded that she did not know what the cost of that is. Number 0555 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN stated that he understood Representative Berkowitz's question. There is a void between starting up and being formed. In the processing of forming one starts by registering and then accounts for all the contributions or expenditures. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked how he envisioned this being applied if there is a referendum and a newspaper runs an editorial for signatures, the commercial value being $500 a day. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON replied that it would have a value and therefore be a reportable expense. Number 0579 MS. MILES stated that editorials published in newspapers are not subject to campaign disclosure law. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked what if the newspaper did the ad space. MS. MILES replied that if a newspaper did the ad on its own behalf, then that would be subject to disclosure, if it was an editorial it would not. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Ms. Miles about the scenario that Representative Berkowitz gave. MS. MILES replied that the commission would not view it as an expenditure under the statute. However, she has two suggestions that would help with that: change the word "or" to "and" and that expenditures that meet certain criteria and were less then $250 not be subject to campaign disclosure. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked what is the difference between an editorial and an advertisement. Number 0603 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that an editorial is always placed on one page and should always be labeled either as part of an opinion page or the individual editorial itself being labeled as opinion. He stated that as far as the type of speech; the editorial persuasive speech has always been viewed as being non-commercial and the advertising persuasive speech has always been tagged as being commercial. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that he would assume that it is an editorial on a page other than the front page. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that mostly it is, there are some publications that will have an opinion on a front page but it does not happen very often with general circulation newspapers. Number 0627 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if a newspaper could then put an editorial an any page that they want and if they call it an editorial, it's an editorial and if they call it an advertisement, it's an advertisement. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON replied that if they do move an editorial to the front page, it would be labeled "editorial" or "opinion". He stated that generally a page is either labeled the editorial page or the opinion page. CHAIR JAMES stated that when it is on the front page it might be questionable whether it is opinion or news. She stated that sometimes journalists do take licenses to put opinions in news. She stated that she did not think that would be considered to be paid advertising. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked how would someone tell the difference on a radio broadcast between an editorial, a news report and an advertisement. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated he would not want this to be taken as a definitive answer, but the superstation often orally labels the broadcast to be opinion or whatever. In the broadcast media he believed, that if it is advertising, who paid for the ad needs to be stated. Number 0660 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move proposed CSHB 413, 0- LS1298\B, Glover, 3/4/98. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, CSHB 413 is before the committee. Number 0670 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to change "or" on page 2, line 7, to "and". CHAIR JAMES stated that she wanted to speak to that because she could visualize having solicitation and no expenses until they received a lot of money. She questioned if amending it to "and" is the answer. She stated that if a group makes an expenditure, that means that money would be coming in to cover the expenditure, a small expenditure such as a phone call would probably not be applicable. She stated that she preferred the standing language, and does not see the problem. She asserted that she is speaking in opposition to the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that he understood what she was saying but had to disagree. He stated that with the scenario of a long distance phone call, he would not have asked for any money, nor received any money. CHAIR JAMES stated that he would then not be acting as a group. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that if two people decide that they are going to oppose something then that is the formation of a group. If they then make a phone call that is then the expenditure. A group is just two or more people that come together, acting jointly to support or oppose a referendum. Number 0708 CHAIR JAMES stated that once a group is formed and an expenditure is then made to go forward, then the group in essence must comply. TAPE 98-30, SIDE B Number 0001 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS stated that the only thing that bothers him is that an unlimited amount of money can be put by a single individual or a single group if there is an initiative or a referendum. He stated that he could see that as a "get out to vote type scenario." For example it would behoove the Native groups to put out a lot of money to be able to get the people out to vote on the subsistence issue. Number 0022 CHAIR JAMES stated that she was surprised at that too, but her attitude towards campaign finance is to let anybody contribute as much as they want but just make it reportable. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN stated that his basic feeling is that we are impinging on democracy. He stated that people will be afraid to say anything. He stated that this is too restrictive as far as he is concerned. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that the question was brought up about "get out the votes". He asked if they are making the attempt to draw the line between referendum and public service messages. CHAIR JAMES asked how are the people dealt with who are neutral on issues and are just getting the information out. MS. MILES replied that generally that is not subject to the campaign disclosure law when it is neutral information, concerning a ballot proposition. She stated often a municipality will send out a brochure saying this is why the proposition is on the ballet and it will explain what it means. She stated the groups that conform to support or oppose that proposition are subject to the statute. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that the scenarios that they are hearing about what groups can and can't do come into play at any other election and do not apply to groups that are formed on just initiatives. He stated that maybe we are trying to micro-manage a situation that APOC has been dealing with on every other election. Number 0116 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated that what the bill is doing is to incorporate the initiative process under the same rules in the same sort of disclosure. He stated that he would withdraw his amendment. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objections. Hearing none, it was so ordered. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated that he agreed with Representative Ivan and agreed that what is really needed is to just make sure everything is disclosed. The bill does a couple of things that helps that. He stated that the people that are signing petitions need to know if the petition signers are doing it for money or because they are true believers. He stated that many petitions drives are for ulterior motives or at least for one or more motive. Number 0170 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move CSHB 413(STA),0- LS1298\B, Glover, 3\4\98, with individual recommendations. CHAIR JAMES asked if adding the reporting procedure to the bill would give it a fiscal note. UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER stated that the fiscal note is zero. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was an objection. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected. He stated that there are some onerous provisions in the bill that would not stand up to the lightest scrutiny of review regarding meeting the requirements free speech. He stated that he did not think that the bill was addressing the public's right to know, instead it is trying to squelch free speech. CHAIR JAMES replied that she understood and certainly did not want to do any squelching of free speech but she reads the bill differently. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that the bill encourages free speech, because it encourages the disclosure and then there is an informed public. An informed public is what is necessary for the best type of speech. Number 0207 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that he felt the bill that came into the committee is not quite as good as the one that is going out. He stated that he appreciated the efforts of the chair. CHAIR JAMES asked for a roll call vote. Representatives Berkowitz, Elton, Ivan, Dyson, Hodgins and James voted in favor of the bill. Representative Vezey voted against it. Therefore, CSHB 413(STA) was moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. HB 359 - HEALTH INSURANCE REGULATION Number 0225 CHAIR JAMES announced the next order of business to be HB 359, "An Act relating to regulation of health insurance plans; and providing for an effective date." Number 0225 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN read the sponsor statement into the record: "This bill is offered to impose requirements on managed care providers to enhance patient care, including advocacy of patient care and prohibiting financial incentives to withhold care. "Requires insurer to disclose terms and conditions of the health insurance plan upon enrollment, annually and upon request. This information shall provide for but not be limited to a current provider directory and referral information. "Provides for a designated medical director and imposes his/her duties and responsibilities and provides for the establishment of a notice and hearing procedure for the termination for a health care provider. "Requires the option to allow covered persons to receive health care form any nonparticipating heath care provider with a caveat that they pay a higher premium if they chose to do that. "Establishes an appeals board to review decisions by an insurer to reduce, deny or terminate benefits and requires written decisions." Number 0254 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN gave his reasoning for bringing this froward. His wife is a registered nurse and he has seen the options for plans and premiums. It is a dartboard, someone is supposed to pick someone he has never heard of, there are no qualifications listed or what their experience levels are. Representative Ryan stated that he has a congenital problem called hammertoe that causes him to see a podiatrist on a regular basis. He stated that he has been insured by the state plan and he still does not understand the options. He stated that after going to the podiatrist he received a letter stating that he had not been given a referral and therefore, they would not pay. He explained that under some plans there is a discount offered for services but conversely the insurance agencies have offered them a volume of patients to make up for the discount. He stated that under this he was supposed to go to the primary care physician and pay him $70 to tell him what he already knew; that he had to go to a podiatrist. He asserted that he did not understand how this was supposed to save money. He was informed that he has to abide by the regulations of the plan or else the insurance company will not pay. Number 0321 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated that these people pay a premium, for a wage benefit, therefore there is an obligation for insurance. Yet, the insurance companies structure the system so it is difficult to get care. He referred to the authorization process and he referred to a Tennessee company and phone diagnoses, that are receiving $62.50 per phone call. He stated that there is a process called utilization review which is basically after authorization is given and there is a diagnosis, the insurance companies look at the record and look at how it was utilized and can decide that it is not appropriate after the fact and therefore refuse to pay. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated that this bill addresses these problems. It sets up an appeals board for people that feel they have been unjustly denied. He stated that the providers are holding health care down and saying that participants are saving a lot of money. He stated that this health care system is requiring participants to go to the lowest bidder. Managed care is inadequate to provide quality service for the patient. Number 0369 CHAIR JAMES stated that she understood the problem. She stated that she has had several conversations with New York Life Care about managed care versus deferred provider. She asked Representative Ryan if he could explain the difference. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated that he has a business which provides psychiatric services and in order to be a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) they have to give a discount, which means that they lower fees to the Medicare rate and that fee structure is acceptable so they will send them patients under that scenario. If they were to charge the normal fee for the service they would not get the contract. CHAIR JAMES asked from the position of the insured it is then managed care. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied yes it is. He stated that the big point is that no choice is given, you must chose a physician from the list of providers in order to be reimbursed. He stated that the bill allows the option to go to any specialist in the group or to go to whoever you choose. Number 0415 CHAIR JAMES asked if he has heard from any health insurance companies on the bill. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated that there is letter from Providence Insurers in the packet, stating that they do not like the bill. He stated that he received a call from Blue Cross asking if they had done something to make him angry. He stated that he is not trying to single out any insurance company. He is just trying to mitigate what he thinks is an approach by people to better take care of their bottom line at the expense of the average individual in Alaska. Number 0425 CHAIR JAMES asked that the part of the compensation in Alaska was the insurance policy but now in order to have that same policy they have to pay because it is under a different system now. She stated that she has a problem as an employer and as an employee saying that insurance is part of your wages. She explained that to her it is a benefit and she has mixed feelings about what the employer is required to do. She asked if he thought it is something that citizens are entitled to or is it a benefit that is provided by the employer. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied that it is a benefit but it is part of the total compensation package. He stated that the market place has determined that if this additional compensation is not offered then the company will have difficulty finding qualified employees. He stated that some CEO's negotiate health care plans as part of their compensation package. Therefore, it would be fair to say that a health care service is part of one's compensation. Number 0470 CHAIR JAMES asked if the bill requires health insurance plans to have the option to choose to go to whatever doctor you want although the participant would then have to pay more for that option. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied yes. CHAIR JAMES asked if it was true that not everyone is going to be forced into this box. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied that is correct. Number 0487 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that what makes sense is that if there is someone who is outside the state who is reviewing decisions made by a medical provider in the state and has the ability to deny or to change the treatment, that they be licensed here in the state. However, he stated that there may be a glitch. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated possible but it would be resolved in the local appeals court. He stated the problem with out of state reviews is that at his community mental health center 45 percent of the kids are Natives and the people in Tennessee do not understand the situation at all. He stated that they are just following a model of institutionalized care. Alaska does not have those facilities, therefore, that model does not work here. He stated that he is trying to ensure that there is a quality of care and people will have some assurance of who they are seeing. Number 0548 CHAIR JAMES asked if when he referred to the providers did he mean the doctors and the clinics or the insurance companies. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied that he is talking about both. He reiterated that the incentive that the clinics have to offer is a discounted rate in exchange for a large pool of people to do business with. He stated that the bill has a cost containment provision in it, meaning that a financial incentive could not be given. Number 0550 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if either scenarios mentioned before; the Tennessee situation and the New York Life situation, are they managed care entities and would they fall under this provision where the medical officer would have to be licensed in Alaska or are they outside of this umbrella. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated that New York Life Care has hired a company to administrate their health program and they are enforcing what the Commissioner of Administration has asked them to do. He stated that in regard to the Tennessee scenario, there is a lot of grey area. There is a statute that says that the Department of Health and Social Services cannot delegate their "prerogative of overseeing and making these decisions". He stated that this is converse to what they have done by contracting it away to the organization in Tennessee that is definitely managed care. He stated that with cost containment and utilization review the providers are trying to ensure that the treatment is necessary. Number 0588 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that it was his understanding that New York Life Care is not managed care but the Tennessee contractor is managed care. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated that yes the Tennessee contractor could be very easily classified as managed care. Number 0591 CHAIR JAMES stated that part of New York Life Care's agreement is to reduce cost by trying to get as many providers as they can to reduce the expense. She stated that Representative Dyson had a children's caucus on this issue and received a lot of testimony. She asked if that testimony is available. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied that he did not know, it was done at the Anchorage LIO and was recorded. CHAIR JAMES stated that she would like the tapes. There is no one here to testify today and in order to make a decision to move the bill out that testimony needs to be heard. She stated that HB 359 would be held over because she would like to have that testimony on the record. HB 362 - AIRPORT MILITARY LOUNGES Number 0624 CHAIR JAMES announced the next order of business is, HB 362, "An Act relating to the use of space for military lounges in state- owned or state-controlled airports." Number 0628 DONALD STOLWORTHY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Beverly Masek came before the committee. He stated HB 362 is designed to codify the situation that is currently going on in the Anchorage International Airport. It provides the opportunity in other state-controlled or owned airports for the airport directors to offer, if they have space available, rent-free space for military lounges if those lounges are operated by non- profit organizations. Around the country, this is generally done by the USO [United Service Organization]. In the state of Alaska, the one lounge we have is operated by the Anchorage Armed Services, YMCA [Young Men Christian Association]. MR. STOLWORTHY said, "The current situation is they don't pay rent, they pay $10 a year in a lease, but the airport director doesn't have any authority to do that. What he does is he creates this lease - the FAA is happy that it's not a rent-free space, and then he divides that cost among all the other tenants. What this strives to do is to make sure that relationship can continue and he has statutory authority to answer the FAA, if they ever bring it up, or if there is change in the Administration. There's a zero fiscal note provided by the Department of Administration, they said it will have no fiscal impact. And the Department of Transportation [and Public Facilities], when they did testify before the Military [and Veterans' Affairs] Committee, stated that their understanding is, the committee's understanding as well, that if the space is available, it's not mandated that the airport director kicks somebody out - a revenue paying entity out to provide a lounge." Number 0650 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked why do we need this. He indicated there is a USO lounge in Fairbanks. MR. STOLWORTHY replied Anchorage and Fairbanks are the two major destinations for military personnel traveling. He reiterated FAA requires the airport directors to maximize revenues at the airports and they do not have statutory authority to provide rent-free space. The reason it is needed is to provide the airport directors with justification for what they have been doing so far. If the FAA decided to push the issue and say, "You're going to have to generate revenue with this space." Last year the airport lounge in Anchorage had 22,000 visitors. The lounge is all run by volunteers and doesn't cost the state anything. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY indicated it was his understanding that all the other tenants are basically sharing in the cost for providing this space, they also share in the cost of providing public restrooms. He asked why is it a problem today. He could not image the FAA or anybody else telling the USO to get out. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said, "Not that I'm opposed to what you're trying to do here, but this hasn't been a problem until today, not that it's a problem today, but why?" Number 0680 MR. STOLWORTHY replied Representative Vezey is right, there is not a problem. He said the [Military and Veteran's Affairs] committee was contacted by the Anchorage Armed Services YMCA and Representative Martin. They were concerned that if there was a shift in the FAA management style that it could become an issue and they wanted to basically head it off at the pass. CHAIR JAMES asked if that had anything to do with budget-cutting everywhere. She also asked what triggered their fear. MR. STOLWORTHY responded that he did not know. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the USOs were being threatened in the rest of the country. He said he could not conceive of anybody making a political decision to kick the USOs out of our airports. MR. STOLWORTHY replied, "We haven't heard anything about any of the lounges being in danger." Number 0697 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS stated it is sometimes difficult to justify some of this when you have the people of the state of Alaska supplying a service that they themselves cannot use. He recognized the need for helping the military and armed forces. He indicated he was prepared to make a motion. CHAIR JAMES noted people were waiting on teleconference. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said oftentimes we have (Indisc. - coughing) acceptable practices that skate near the edge of being unauthorized and periodically we need to go back and bring our regulations, codes, and statutes into line with what is generally accepted practice. He mentioned, "Representative Ivan superintended the Community and Regional Affairs meeting, I believe yesterday, where we in fact made it..." TAPE 98-31, SIDE A Number 001 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON continued, "...thing to be doing. I think that, as I understand this bill, it doesn't solve the (Indisc. - paper rustling) problem, it heads off a potential future problem and I can certainly say that we in Anchorage have had a long standing love affair with the military there. Probably the most integrated military civilian population I've ever run into in North America, and doing everything we can to make that a comfortable transition and a welcome place for military folks is high on the list of priorities for the community and chamber of commerce and the visitors' association. I see that this bill just furthers two things, sending a message that military are not only welcome but inordinately important in what has been a bastion and bulwark against those who would take away our freedoms, and it may again within our life times be so. And brings the statutes into line with practice." Number 0040 TOM MORGAN, Executive, Director, Armed Services, Young Men Christian Association, testified via teleconference. He mentioned the Armed Services YMCA has been serving the traveling military through the military courtesy lounge at the Anchorage International Airport. He said, "A safe and secure place has been dedicated to the armed forces at no expense to the state or the military. Reaching over 23,000 visitors in 1997, squadron booster clubs provide volunteers to staff this lounge 365 days a year, meeting the needs of domestic and international traveling military members and their families. Alaska continues to be a strategic importance in the training of our military and defense of the nation. The military has always been there for us. We should not shuck our duties to them." MR. MORGAN continued, "The existing statute does not allow the Armed Services YMCA to provide these services without a rental charge. So that we may continue to meet the needs of the traveling military in Alaska, the Armed Services YMCA supports HB 362. This change will allow us to continue our work, and at the same time authorize the Anchorage International Airport to offer the space rent-free." MR. MORGAN mentioned this arrangement would be consistent with other military lounge airport programs that are run by the Armed Services YMCAs and USOs throughout the other states. Other groups, school classes, boy scouts, visitors from outside have asked and been granted the use of these facilities. Number 0084 DENNIS POSHARD, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, provided information on HB 362. He said, "The department is supportive of this piece of legislation, however, as you note in the fiscal note, it's a zero fiscal note and we put in a zero fiscal note based on some basic assumptions that any space that is currently generating revenue from a tenant we would not terminate a lease in order to put in a military lounge. We would continue to lease to tenants that exist. Nor would we - space that was available because a certain tenant just left, if there was someone waiting to take that over we would not put in a military lounge because we're required, by FAA, to maximize our lease revenues. However, at any location where space is available, we will be more than happy to make it available for the purposes of the military lounge. We only have one currently in Alaska and that's in the Anchorage International Airport. As of this time we've had no other requests, to my knowledge, to put in a military lounge, but certainly any requests that we receive we'll try every way we can to accommodate those requests." REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he has a tendency to question why you fix something that is not broken. He said, "This does concern me in that this is applying to every airport facility in the state and it says that we shall permit without rental charges the rent-free facilities. That's mandatory language, we're addressing a problem that doesn't seem to be broken. The relationship that me and my constituents have with airport leasing is far from harmonious and friendly. Why do we want to go in here and create a new source of friction between my constituents and the DOT/PF airport leasing?" MR. POSHARD indicated he was not sure that we are creating some source of conflict. He believed DOT/PF would view HB 362 requiring them to provide space, free of charge, in any state-owned or controlled airport. He said, "I don't think that I read in the bill that it would require us to bump any current tenants or anything of that nature. ... It's hard for me to speak to whether or not this is creating some source of conflict between the department and potential tenants. I guess we see it as a positive step." Number 0168 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said the bill says, "use of state land and buildings shall be permitted without charge." He noted it is broad in whom we are bringing into this. It includes the Alaska State Militia. Representative Vezey asked for the definition of the "state militia." MR. POSHARD said he was not prepared to answer that question. He deferred the question to the sponsor. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY believed it could be found in Title 1, Chapter 05. He said, "It is extremely broad definition, it's anybody the governor says is in the malitia, is in the malitia. I think between the age of 18 and 55." He indicated he has a number of concerns and reiterated, we are trying to fix something that is not broken and the mandatory wording "shall," -- potentially what we are getting is that we just want it to be permissible, but HB 362 says it is mandatory and has a very broad definition of whom we are mandated to provide this service to. Number 0197 CHAIR JAMES stated she agrees with Representative Vezey. She said, "You testified that you would not move somebody out of any space, so you'd only do it as a space available. It doesn't say that in here. ... It just tells about for it and setting up an (Indisc.) and this is all the existing language, and then it says however, 'use of land and buildings by the Alaska Wings Civil Air Patrol and this squadron shall be permitted without rental charges.' And then they slipped in that, 'the use of the spaces, state-owned and state-controlled airports as lounges for members of the United States Armed Forces, the Alaska National Guard, the Naval Militia, or the Alaska State Militia' which is not defined, here anyway. If the lounges are operated by persons exempt from taxation shall be permitted without rental charges, it doesn't sound to me like you have an option." MR. POSHARD said he could see that maybe the language needs some work. He said, "I think our interpretation, the word 'permitted without rental charges,' that phrase..." CHAIR JAMES interjected, "The permit undoes the shall." MR. POSHARD replied not that it undoes it, but that it refers to the rental charges in that we shall not permit it by charging any fee for the space. He said, "I don't think that we've interpreted that we have to make the space available. I think we've interpreted that we cannot charge a fee for that space." CHAIR JAMES indicated she is in favor of this legislation, but she would like to get a legal opinion. Number 0227 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "I think all we're trying to do is codify what we are already doing. There's noting wrong with that. Speaking as a Vet., temporarily here, I think this is very important, but speaking as an Alaskan who also is interested in economic development, the services provided get these people out of the airports often times and into our communities where they can see and appreciate our communities and where they can spend some money too. This also has an economic development component." CHAIR JAMES indicated that HB 362 would be held for further review. HJR 59 - DESECRATION OF U.S. FLAG Number 0240 CHAIR JAMES announce the next order of business is HJR 59, Relating to an amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibiting desecration of the Flag of the United States, sponsored by Representative Pete Kott. Number 0245 JAMES HORNADAY, Legislative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott, testified on behalf of Representative Kott. He said fiscal notes are not required on house joint resolutions, but one is in progress because if HJR 59 passes and becomes law, it would require putting it on the ballot. He read the following sponsor statement: "This resolution authorizes the Congress of the United States to present a constitutional amendment to the United States that would authorize Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag. "The flag has long been enshrined as the symbol of what is right with America and is a most worthy emblem of our nation. The law, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, we believe no longer accords to the Stars and Stripes the reverence and respect befitting the banner of our noble experiment of a nation state, which Lincoln called our 'last, best hope of mankind.' "The resolution supports Congressional House Resolution 54 or Senate Joint Resolution 40, in the United States Congress, providing Congress the authority to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag." MR. HORNADAY said, "We realize that there are strong positions held on both sides of this position and we certainly respect those who disagree. That's a very important part of America and the free marketplace of ideas to express your opinions." MR. HORNADAY read Senator Stevens' news release dated February 4, 1998: "Noting that Alaskans are strong in their belief that our flag should not be desecrated, Stevens said, "The power to amend the Constitution demands a cautious respect. It is a considerable power - one that has helped to chart the course of our history. We should not jump into headlong amendments. But we should not be afraid to act on our beliefs, either. Number 0281 "The Supreme Court has given us a choice. We can accept that the First Amendment allows the desecration of America's flag, or we can change the law to prevent it. "The Senator pointed out that 48 states had laws preventing flag desecration before those laws were struck down in a Supreme Court decision. "For those who serve overseas, in peacetime as well as conflict, the flag serves as a special reminder and symbol of the freedom of Americans enjoy more than any other nation. ... I remember the day the 49th star was pinned on our flag. It was one of the proudest moments of my life." MR. HORNADAY indicated a similar resolution was passed in 1993 that was signed by the governor. He stressed that it is necessary to bring this up again because recent resolutions have passed in the Senate, and in Congress. Number 0296 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to move HJR 59 from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. Number 0299 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked about the fiscal note that was mentioned. CHAIR JAMES referred to Mr. Hornaday's statement that there has to be a fiscal note attached because it has to go to the voters. Chair James noted it does not, the resolution will be forwarded to congress. MR. HORNADAY indicated he was advised by the Administration that generally no fiscal note is needed, but HJR 59 may need one. CHAIR JAMES stated she did not believe so, but that could be checked into. Hearing no objection, HJR 59 moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. HB 329 - HARBORVIEW DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER Number 0312 CHAIR JAMES announced the committee would hear HB 329, "An Act amending the definition of correctional facility to include a therapeutic treatment center; providing for the conveyance of the Harborview Developmental Center and appurtenant land to the City of Valdez for the purpose of conversion and lease of a part of the center for a therapeutic treatment center for the Department of Corrections; providing that such a land conveyance counts toward the general grant land entitlement of the City of Valdez; and providing for an effective date." Number 0325 LARAINE DERR, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Housing Association, stated that they are supporting the bill from the standpoint that the hospital in Valdez is located in one end of the building and if the building goes completely into a state of non- use, it impacts the hospital. The association would like to see the passage of the bill so that the city of Valdez does get the building and then they can continue usage. Number 0342 CHAIR JAMES stated that time has run out, so HB 329 will be held over. She stated that she wanted to make it clear that on Saturday's meeting HB 338 will be the first order of business and then the other held over bills will be heard in the order heard today. ADJOURNMENT Number 0344 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Standing Committee at 9:54 a.m.

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