Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/09/1998 08:13 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
       HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                  
                   April 9, 1998                                               
                     8:13 a.m.                                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
                                                                               
Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                          
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                 
Representative Joe Ryan                                                        
Representative Kim Elton                                                       
Representative Mark Hodgins                                                    
Representative Jerry Sanders                                                   
                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
                                                                               
Representative Ivan Ivan, Vice Chairman                                        
                                                                               
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
                                                                               
* HOUSE BILL 330                                                               
"An Act repealing the termination date of the state training and               
employment program; and providing for an effective date."                      
                                                                               
     - MOVED HB 330 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
* HOUSE BILL 257                                                               
"An Act relating to voter qualification, disqualification, and                 
registration; to voter registration officials; to election notices;            
to mail elections; to certain voting procedures; to the                        
transportation of ballots; and to the official election pamphlet               
and certain immunity from liability regarding claims arising from              
publication of the official election pamphlet."                                
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 257(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 105(FIN) AM                                             
"An Act relating to legislative and executive branch ethics;                   
relating to campaign finances for candidates for state office;                 
relating to the conduct and regulation of lobbyists with respect to            
public officials; relating to the filing of disclosures by certain             
state employees and officials; making a conforming amendment to the            
definition of 'public official' for employment security statutes;              
and providing for an effective date."                                          
                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
                                                                               
(* First public hearing)                                                       
                                                                               
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                
                                                                               
BILL: HB 330                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: EXTEND STATE TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROG                         
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                   
                                                                               
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
 1/16/98      2070     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
 1/16/98      2070     (H)  STATE AFFAIRS, L&C, FINANCE                        
 1/16/98      2070     (H)  4 ZERO FNS (2-DCRA, GOV, LABOR)                    
 1/16/98      2070     (H)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                      
 4/07/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 4/09/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 4/09/98      2938     (H)  STA RPT  5DP                                       
 4/09/98      2938     (H)  DP: JAMES, ELTON, BERKOWITZ, RYAN,                 
 4/09/98      2938     (H)  HODGINS                                            
 4/09/98      2939     (H)  4 ZERO FNS (2-CRA, GOV, LABOR) 1/16/98             
 4/09/98      2939     (H)  REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE                       
                                                                               
BILL: HB 257                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: VOTING & ELECTIONS                                                
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                   
                                                                               
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
 4/22/97      1263     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
 4/22/97      1263     (H)  STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                             
 4/22/97      1264     (H)  FISCAL NOTE (GOV)                                  
 4/22/97      1264     (H)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                      
 4/07/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 4/09/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
                                                                               
BILL: SB 105                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: ETHICS/LOBBYING/CAMPAIGN FINANCE                                  
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF LEGISLATIVE ETHICS COMMITTEE                   
                                                                               
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
 2/25/97       494     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
 2/25/97       494     (S)  STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                             
 3/11/97               (S)  STA AT  3:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                     
 3/11/97               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/13/97               (S)  STA AT  3:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                     
 3/13/97               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/18/97               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/25/97               (S)  STA AT  3:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                     
 3/25/97               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/26/97       873     (S)  STA RPT  CS  3DP        NEW TITLE                  
 3/26/97       873     (S)  DP: GREEN, MILLER, WARD                            
 3/26/97       873     (S)  FISCAL NOTE TO SB (ADM)                            
 3/26/97       873     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SB (LAA)                       
 3/26/97       873     (S)  FISCAL NOTE TO CS (ADM)                            
 4/10/97               (S)  FIN AT  5:00 PM SENATE FINANCE 532                 
 4/10/97               (S)  MINUTE(FIN)                                        
 4/10/97               (S)  MINUTE(FIN)                                        
 4/15/97               (S)  FIN AT  8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                 
 4/15/97               (S)  MINUTE(FIN)                                        
 4/16/97               (S)  FIN AT  8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                 
 4/16/97               (S)  MINUTE(FIN)                                        
 4/16/97               (S)  MINUTE(FIN)                                        
 4/16/97      1163     (S)  FIN RPT  CS  2DP 5NR      NEW TITLE                
 4/16/97      1163     (S)  DP: PEARCE; DP IF AM: PHILLIPS                     
 4/16/97      1163     (S)  NR: SHARP, PARNELL, ADAMS, TORGERSON,              
 4/16/97      1163     (S)  DONLEY                                             
 4/16/97      1163     (S)  PREVIOUS ZERO FN APPLIES (LAA)                     
 4/16/97      1163     (S)  ZERO FNS TO CS (LABOR, LAW)                        
 4/16/97      1163     (S)  PREVIOUS ZERO FN APPLIES (LAA)                     
 4/18/97               (S)  RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                  
 4/18/97               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                        
 4/18/97      1276     (S)  RULES TO CALENDAR & 1NR     4/18/97                
 4/18/97      1279     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                               
 4/18/97      1279     (S)  FIN  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                       
 4/18/97      1280     (S)  AM NO  1     OFFERED AND WITHDRAWN                 
 4/18/97      1281     (S)  AM NO  2     FAILED Y4 N13 E3                      
 4/18/97      1282     (S)  AM NO  3     FAILED Y4 N13 E3                      
 4/18/97      1283     (S)  AMENDMENTS 4, 5 NOT OFFERED                        
 4/18/97      1283     (S)  AM NO  6     ADOPTED Y12 N5 E3                     
 4/18/97      1285     (S)  AM NO  7     FAILED Y7 N10 E3                      
 4/18/97      1286     (S)  AM NO  8     FAILED Y5 N12 E3                      
 4/18/97      1287     (S)  AM NO  9     ADOPTED Y17 N- E3                     
 4/18/97      1291     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT             
 4/18/97      1291     (S)  READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 105(FIN) AM              
 4/18/97      1292     (S)  PASSED Y15 N2 E3                                   
 4/18/97      1292     (S)  EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                  
 4/18/97      1292     (S)  LINCOLN  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                 
 4/21/97      1334     (S)  RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING                  
 4/21/97      1335     (S)  RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 10 UNAN CONSENT            
 4/21/97      1335     (S)  AM NO 10     ADOPTED Y14 N5 E1                     
 4/21/97      1336     (S)  AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING                     
 4/21/97      1337     (S)  PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y17 N2 E1                
 4/21/97      1337     (S)  EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                  
 4/21/97      1370     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                 
 4/22/97      1232     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
 4/22/97      1233     (H)  STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                             
 2/05/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 2/05/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 2/12/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 2/12/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 2/17/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 2/17/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 2/19/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 2/24/98               (H)  STA AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 102                        
 2/24/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 2/26/98               (H)  STA AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 102                        
 2/26/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/03/98               (H)  STA AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 102                        
 3/03/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/05/98               (H)  STA AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 102                        
 3/05/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/12/98               (H)  STA AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 102                        
 3/12/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/19/98               (H)  STA AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 102                        
 3/19/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 3/26/98               (H)  STA AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 102                        
 3/26/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
 4/04/98               (H)  STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 4/07/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 4/09/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
                                                                               
DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant                                              
Office of the Commissioner                                                     
Department of Labor                                                            
P.O. Box 21149                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska  99802                                                          
Telephone:  (907) 465-2700                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 330.                           
                                                                               
MARY SHIELDS, General Manager                                                  
Northwest Technical Services                                                   
3330 Arctic Boulevard                                                          
  Suite 201                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                       
Telephone:  (907) 562-1633                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 330.                           
                                                                               
GAIL FENUMIAI, Election Coordinator                                            
Division of Elections                                                          
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                              
P.O. Box 110017                                                                
Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                          
Telephone:  (907) 465-4611                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 257.                           
                                                                               
BEN BROWN, Legislative Administrative                                          
  Assistant to Senator Tim Kelly                                               
Alaska State Legislature                                                       
Capitol Building, Room 101                                                     
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                          
Telephone:  (907) 465-4823                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of Senator Tim Kelly,                 
                     sponsor of SB 105.                                        
                                                                               
SUZIE BARNETT, Professional Assistant                                          
Legislative Ethics Committee                                                   
P.O. Box 101468                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska  99510                                                       
Telephone:  (907) 258-8172                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Available to answer questions on SB 105.                  
                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
                                                                               
TAPE 98-51, SIDE A                                                             
Number 0001                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES called the House State Affairs Standing                  
Committee meeting to order at 8:13 a.m.  Members present at the                
call to order were Representatives James, Berkowitz, Ryan, Elton,              
Hodgins, and Sanders.                                                          
                                                                               
HB 330 - EXTEND STATE TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROG                             
                                                                               
Number 0004                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES announced the first order of business is HB 330, "An               
Act repealing the termination date of the state training and                   
employment program; and providing for an effective date," sponsored            
by the House Rules Standing Committee.                                         
                                                                               
Number 0007                                                                    
                                                                               
DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,                 
Department of Labor came before the committee to provide                       
information on the State Training and Employment Program (STEP).               
Mr. Perkins read the following statement:                                      
                                                                               
"The STEP was enacted in 1989 as a temporary, two-year pilot                   
program.  Its success has led to the legislature's extending its               
existence three more times in subsequent years.  With its last                 
extension in 1996, STEP became a permanent program but remains                 
subject to a sunset provision.  Since its last extension, STEP has             
made great strides in addressing the legislative concerns with the             
program.                                                                       
                                                                               
"State Training and Employment Program is financed with a 0.1                  
percent contribution from employees' share of unemployment                     
insurance.  The STEP job training provided with this small                     
contribution to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund results in               
more working Alaskans and a decreased need to pay out unemployment             
insurance benefits. State Training and Employment Program also                 
assists Alaskans who need to upgrade their job skills in order to              
maintain their employability.                                                  
                                                                               
"In Fiscal Year 97, more than 1,500 individuals were enrolled in               
STEP, an increase of 500 enrollees over the previous year.  In one             
year, STEP clients have reduced claims for unemployment insurance,             
resulting in about a $1.5 million saving to the Unemployment                   
Insurance Trust Fund.  Along with the increased use of the program,            
STEP administrators were successful in reducing federal recapture              
of Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds by 60 percent while holding              
administrative costs below 20 percent."                                        
                                                                               
MR. PERKINS noted he has Arbe Williams, Director, Division of                  
Administrative Services, Department of Labor, and representatives              
from the Department of Community and Regional Affairs with him to              
speak on financial matters.                                                    
                                                                               
Number 0025                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any questions of the Department of             
Labor.                                                                         
                                                                               
Number 0026                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS remarked this is pretty cut and dried,             
he indicated he wanted to move HB 330.                                         
                                                                               
Number 0029                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES called on Mary Shields via teleconference.                         
                                                                               
Number 0031                                                                    
                                                                               
MARY SHIELDS, General Manager, Northwest Technical Services, said              
she is absolutely in favor of HB 330.                                          
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Shields if she minded if the committee moved             
the bill.                                                                      
                                                                               
MS. SHIELDS replied not at all.                                                
                                                                               
Number 0033                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to move HB 330, with                      
individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.  Hearing no              
objections, HB 330 moved from the House State Affairs Standing                 
Committee.                                                                     
                                                                               
HB 257 - VOTING & ELECTIONS                                                    
                                                                               
Number 0038                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES announced the next order of business is HB 257, "An Act            
relating to voter qualification, disqualification, and                         
registration; to voter registration officials; to election notices;            
to mail elections; to certain voting procedures; to the                        
transportation of ballots; and to the official election pamphlet               
and certain immunity from liability regarding claims arising from              
publication of the official election pamphlet," sponsored by the               
House Rules Standing Committee.                                                
                                                                               
Number 0040                                                                    
                                                                               
GAIL FENUMIAI, Election Coordinator, Division of Elections, Office             
of the Lieutenant Governor, came before the committee to provide               
information on HB 257.  She stated the division has prepared a                 
draft committee statement dated April 7, 1998.                                 
                                                                               
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER made a motion to move proposed CSHB 257.                  
                                                                               
Number 0045                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES announced there being no objections CSHB 257 is before             
the committee.                                                                 
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI explained that the reason the bill is so large is that            
the Division of Elections is changing the term "questioned" ballot             
to "special review" ballot which they feel better reflects the true            
intent of the questioned ballot.                                               
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI pointed out other changes in the bill to current law              
are extending the deadline for absentee voting by fax to the day               
before the election.  Current statute is four days before the                  
election.  Increasing the deadline to 5:00 p.m. the day before                 
would then allow an extra opportunity for people to be able to                 
vote.                                                                          
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI said the bill also is streamlining and improving the              
absentee by personal representative voting process.  It cuts down              
the number of steps between the personal representative, the                   
election official and the voter, it also cuts down on the number of            
times the people need to sign the confusing form.  In 1996 15                  
percent of the ballots that were voted absentee by personal                    
representative, were rejected for insufficient witnessing or Alaska            
signature.  Ms. Fenumiai said they feel the new process will                   
greatly improve that as well as add additional checks and balances             
on behalf of the personal representative.  She indicated they have             
to provide identification, sign a log, sign a log again when they              
return the ballot, provide the date and time when they returned the            
ballot.  She concluded, for the first time, the division would know            
the name of the personal representative, have an address, and have             
a form of identification which they presented.                                 
                                                                               
Number 0063                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOE RYAN said this is the person can't make it out              
to vote and you send a personal representative out with the ballot             
and that representative brings the ballot back to the voting place.            
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI replied that's correct.                                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN asked how many people do this, in a ballpark               
number.                                                                        
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI responded in 1996 there was approximately 500 people              
that voted absentee by personal representative.                                
                                                                               
Number 0068                                                                    
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI mentioned there are additions in this bill that would             
allow the division - to give the division statutory authority to               
conduct an election with "optical scanning ballot tabulation"                  
technology.  She also noted there are also minor changes to the                
official election pamphlet statute, and an addition that would                 
allow for unemployment tax exemption to election workers who make              
less than one thousand dollars in a calendar year that is the                  
result of the balanced budget Act of 1997, in order to take                    
advantage of that the state needs to bring their laws into                     
compliance with the federal law.                                               
                                                                               
Number 0077                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ suggested a proposed amendment to               
page 4, line 20, by adding "E-mail."                                           
                                                                               
     and the address, phone number and E-mail address of the                   
     election supervisor or supervisors for the judicial district              
     in which the notice is broadcast.                                         
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if there were objections.  There being none the              
amendment was unanimously adopted.                                             
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said, "Having been, along with Representative              
Berkowitz, through all the fine details of this that my changes I              
understand are special review takes the place of question ballots              
and the electronic voting, but the punch ballots will still be                 
available, will still be sorted, and kept in the original districts            
like they were, and so forth and so on, and there's a tally count              
to make sure that we don't come up with more absentee ballots than             
were sent out and we don't have more special review ballots than               
were originally calculated because these things some times grow in             
dark places, they've been known to, perhaps not in Alaska, but                 
Texas is notorious for 'dark ballot box' growing."                             
                                                                               
Number 0103                                                                    
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI remarked the process of what is now known as the                  
"question ballot process" would not change, they are just simply               
changing the term to "special review ballot."  The process the                 
Division of Elections has used in past elections will continue                 
according to the way they are written in statute.                              
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN pointed out they found a bunch of ballots in a             
box (tucked under something) that had already been counted.  He                
said fortunately they were in his favor.                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said, "Me too."                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said it makes one nervous.                                 
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI responded this bill does not change the process, it               
just simply changes the term.                                                  
                                                                               
Number 0112                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ referred to Section 39, AS 15.58.030(f):              
                                                                               
     A candidate's photograph must be five by seven inches in size             
     and must have been taken within the past five years.  The                 
     photograph must be limited to the head, neck, and shoulders of            
     the candidate.                                                            
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said no one could ever explain why it had             
to be five by seven.  He pointed out it is an awkward size to get.             
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI wasn't able to respond.                                           
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Berkowitz what would be the size              
he would like.                                                                 
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied passport.                                     
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI remarked the passport size might be too small for the             
use of the official election pamphlet.  She assumes the publisher              
or the printer would then have to enlarge that.                                
                                                                               
Number 0122                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON stated he was previously in publishing and            
the five by seven is generally the minimum size a printer would                
want because of quality issues - when you try to enlarge them.  He             
asked why just five by seven instead of eight by ten or something              
else.                                                                          
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES indicated she put a booklet together one time and said             
you do have to have consistency.                                               
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said he has a scanner which he can scan any                
size photograph, enlarge it or reduce it in size, and enhance it,              
he can also print it on a colored printer with the quality of a                
photographic print.  He noted, if they are still using archaic                 
printing technology, he thinks they should come forward.                       
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI said they are removing the requirement for it to be               
black and white, they will take colored photos.                                
                                                                               
Number 0138                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS said he concurs with Representative                     
Berkowitz and suggested a friendly amendment for the photograph to             
be bigger than a passport.                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said she is not comfortable changing it at this point              
in time since she has no knowledge of the technology that is used.             
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked if this could be checked into                   
because this may just have to do with old requirements rather than             
old technology.                                                                
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Fenumiai to take that request to the House               
Finance Standing Committee [HB 257's next referral].                           
                                                                               
MS. FENUMIAI said she would.                                                   
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON made a motion to move CSHB 257 with individual            
recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.  There being no                 
objections CSHB 257(STA) moved from the House State Affairs                    
Standing Committee                                                             
                                                                               
SB 105 - ETHICS/LOBBYING/CAMPAIGN FINANCE                                      
                                                                               
Number 0157                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES announced the last order of business is CSSB 105(FIN)              
AM, "An Act relating to legislative and executive branch ethics;               
relating to campaign finances for candidates for state office;                 
relating to the conduct and regulation of lobbyists with respect to            
public officials; relating to the filing of disclosures by certain             
state employees and officials; making a conforming amendment to the            
definition of 'public official' for employment security statutes;              
and providing for an effective date."                                          
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said they have gone through the process that affects               
the legislature, they are at the place where they will be affecting            
the executive branch.  Chair James mentioned Suzie Barnett is on               
teleconference in Anchorage   She suggested the committee go                   
through the amendments as systematically and as quickly as possible            
starting with LS0074\L.1, Cramer, 4/3/98.                                      
                                                                               
Number 0171                                                                    
                                                                               
BEN BROWN, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Senator Tim                 
Kelly, Alaska State Legislature came before the committee to                   
explain the amendments.  He said Amendment L.1 deals with the issue            
of the Executive Branch Ethics Act enforcement agency which is                 
currently the Department of Law (manifested under the attorney                 
general), except for complaints that are sent to hearing and those             
are heard before the Personnel Board.                                          
                                                                               
MR. BROWN stated the problem with the approach that the Senate took            
in transferring authority in the bill from the Office of the                   
Attorney General almost exclusively to the Personnel Board is that             
it first of all gave the powers to enforce the executive branch                
ethics to (indisc.) who didn't want it, a citizen personnel board              
that never had that responsibility with that magnitude before.                 
                                                                               
MR. BROWN said, "The second big problem was the enormity of the                
fiscal impact which was about $250 thousand a year in creating new             
positions to staff the Personnel Board to basically act like an                
executive branch ethics committee. ... It was determined that there            
were more cons than pros, therefore Amendment L.1 tries to go back             
into the legislation and change back the structure of the transfer             
of power so that the [Office of the] Attorney General's Office is              
responsible for the 'lion's share' of ethics advise, and                       
complaints, resolution and dismissal, and even over sighting in                
conjunction with the designated supervisors in the executive                   
branch.  Only at the point when an issue goes to hearing will the              
Personnel Board probably will take an active role except with one              
change.  Right now when the attorney general settles or dismisses              
a complaint - that really can't be undone, the bill doesn't seek to            
give the Personnel Board power to undo those resolutions or                    
dismissals it does give the Personnel Board the power to, if they              
find that the resolution or dismissal is grossly inconsistent with             
the provisions of AS 39.52, to tell the subject that they're going             
to publicize the resolution of the dismissal.  The number of cases             
that this will likely happen is probably very small because very               
often when (indisc.) he negotiates a resolution, makes public                  
disclosure a provision of it in the interest of executive branch               
ethics."  Mr. Brown stated the seven-page amendment deletes many               
references of the Personnel Board and replaces them with references            
to the Office of the Attorney General.                                         
                                                                               
Number 0198                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked if it just restores things to the               
way they essentially are.                                                      
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied essentially yes.                                             
                                                                               
Number 0199                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ made a motion to adopt Amendment                      
LS0074\L.1, 4/3/98.  There being no objections, Amendment L.1 was              
adopted.                                                                       
                                                                               
Number 0201                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Brown to address Amendment LS0074\L.2,                   
Cramer, 4/3/98.                                                                
                                                                               
MR. BROWN explained Amendment L.2 deals with fund-raisers happening            
when people are traveling at state expense.  This language puts a              
prohibition in place for legislators, governor and lieutenant                  
governor.  If you go somewhere at state expense it should have to              
be incidental if you end up staying there and holding a political              
fund-raiser it should not at any way be apparent to the public that            
that was part of the reason there at state expense.  This puts a               
48-hour ban in place to try to prevent that sort of activity.                  
                                                                               
     Page 17, following line 5, insert a new bill section to read:             
                                                                               
     *Sec. 21. AS 24.60.031 is amended by adding a new subsection              
     to read:                                                                  
                                                                               
     (c) a legislator may not travel at state expense to a place in            
     which the legislator plans to hold a campaign fund raising                
     event if the travel occurs less than 48 hours before the event            
     is scheduled to begin.  This subsection does not prohibit a               
     legislator from holding a campaign fund raising event in a                
     place to which the legislator traveled at state expense if the            
     travel to the place is completed at least 48 hours before the             
     event was scheduled to begin.                                             
                                                                               
     Page 48, following line 31, insert a new subsection to read:              
                                                                               
     (b) Except for travel to the capital city, an elected official            
     may not travel at state expense to a place in which the                   
     official plans to hold a campaign fund raising event if the               
     travel occurs less than 48 hours before the event is scheduled            
     to begin.  This subsection does not prohibit an elected                   
     official from holding a campaign fund raising event in a place            
     to which the elected official traveled at state expense if the            
     travel to the place is completed at least 48 hours before the             
     event was scheduled to begin.  In this subsection, "elected               
     official" means the governor or the lieutenant governor.                  
                                                                               
Number 0210                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated, "I drive home at the end of                   
session ... they want to have a fund-raising event for me when I               
get there, they can't do it."                                                  
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied they can after 48-hours or if you don't take your            
state reimbursement for the drive.  If it were 48-hours after you              
got home state expense would cover your reimbursement.                         
                                                                               
Number 0213                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES stressed she didn't think that was ever the intent of              
this amendment, there should be an exception when you go home at               
the end of the legislative session.  She suggested they include                
that as an amendment to this amendment.                                        
                                                                               
MR. BROWN indicated that was discussed with the drafter as an                  
exemption for adjourning travel not for convening travel.                      
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ remarked if you don't want people to                  
travel at state expense solely or primarily to have a fund-raising             
event, and if that's the case why don't we just say it that way.               
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked for a motion to adopt Amendment L.2 for                      
discussion and amending if needed.                                             
                                                                               
Number 0222                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to adopt proposed Amendment               
L.2 for discussion.                                                            
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN objected.                                                  
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES noted there is an objection.  Chair James said she                 
believes it should be amended that in the adjourning trip home,                
especially when they are limited to any campaigning while in the               
capital and there is so little time, going home should not be the              
issue.                                                                         
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS said he is totally against the amendment                
since he lives in Kenai and makes many trips to Anchorage.  He                 
indicated this means he can't go into Anchorage two days prior to,             
a function or committee meeting, or something like that.  He will              
be voting against it if it is a 48-hour thing.                                 
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES responded it is not proper for her to fly from                     
Fairbanks to Anchorage to attend fund-raising.  She indicated she              
has either paid her own way or used her campaign funds to pay and              
has not traveled to Anchorage for a fund-raiser on state pay                   
because she doesn't believe it's right.                                        
                                                                               
Number 0234                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS continued.  He pointed out Kenai is so close            
to Anchorage that he will make several trips back and forth.  If he            
has business the day before (an Oil and Gas Committee meeting) and             
travels on a state warrant and returns to Kenai and the following              
day travel to Anchorage on his own money for a fund-raiser that                
would unduly restrict him for the compensation of traveling the day            
before.  He said they're assuming that you...                                  
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES stressed the four days is a problem in the amendment.              
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS read the amendment which addresses traveling            
at state expense and travel that occurs less than 48 hours before              
the event is scheduled to begin.  He stressed if he makes a round-             
trip on Tuesday and attends a fund-raiser on Wednesday...                      
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES reiterated this isn't going to work.                               
                                                                               
MR. BROWN remarked he believes the drafter deleted another sentence            
when she put the legislative language in there.  He indicated at               
that time they were only dealing with the governor.                            
                                                                               
Number 0246                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES noted the governor is what prompted them on the issue              
of whether or not he should be raising funds while they are in a               
legislative session when someone is running against him.  She said,            
"We tried to solve on the floor ... so now he can't.  That means he            
can go visit somebody, any place in the state, and have a fund-                
raiser while he's there.  Unless we put something in here, that's              
still allowed.  I don't think it should be, and I think it's fair              
for both of us to not."  She asked that this amendment be withdrawn            
for now and move onto the next amendment.                                      
                                                                               
Number 0254                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS removed his motion to adopt Amendment L.2.              
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES indicated they need to talk to the drafter.                        
                                                                               
Number 0255                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN said Amendment LS0074\L.3, Cramer, 4/3/98, attempts to               
remedy an apparent oversight in the personnel Act that permits                 
exempt employees to run for office while keeping their jobs.                   
Presently it would mean you could be the commissioner of                       
Administration and you could run for state Senate while you're the             
commissioner even though you couldn't do it if you were the                    
commissioner's secretary.  He remarked that's probably not the best            
possible public policy, there's only one example where someone who             
was in an exempt position decided to run for office (in the prior              
administration to this one) and that person was removed by his                 
commissioner.                                                                  
                                                                               
MR. BROWN stated, "The problem, by just putting the entire exempt              
service into the category of state employees who immediately resign            
their positions upon running for state office, is that there are a             
lot of people on the exempt service who don't want to (indisc.) in             
- all teachers - everyone who works for the university.  This list             
attempts to go through the list of persons in the personnel Act                
(the second page of the amendment is a photocopy of the list of                
whose in the exempt service from the personnel Act) and it picks               
from that list certain categories of persons.  Representative                  
Berkowitz had suggested five of them at the outset, and working                
with the drafter several more persons that don't seem to be                    
particularly unfit to run for public office due to the high-                   
sensitive nature of their exempt political position or while                   
they're holding both have been exempted - people on the welfare                
program, people who work in the "Challenge" program, young people              
who are in the 'youth corps challenge program,' people who work                
steady (Indisc.)university (indisc.).  There's no real public                  
policy - it assumes in preventing them from running for office like            
there is for those who higher-level political appointees getting a             
state paycheck and then running while they're holding that state               
office."                                                                       
                                                                               
     Page 38, following line 29:  Insert a new bill section to                 
     read:                                                                     
                                                                               
     *Sec. 66.  AS 39.25.160(e) is amended to read:                            
                                                                               
     (e)  An employee in the classified, [OR] partially exempt, or             
          exempt service who seeks nomination or becomes a                     
          candidate for state or national elective political office            
          shall immediately resign any position held in the state              
          service.  The employee's position becomes vacant on the              
          date the employee files a declaration of candidacy for               
          state or national elective office.  This subsection does             
          not apply to                                                         
                                                                               
     (1)  a justice, judges, magistrates, and employees of the                 
          judicial branch, including employees of the judicial                 
          branch, including employees of the judicial council;                 
                                                                               
     (2)  the governor or the lieutenant governor;                             
                                                                               
     (3)  a member of the legislature;                                         
                                                                               
     (4)  an employee seeking election as a delegate to a                      
          constitutional convention;                                           
                                                                               
     (5)  officers and employees of the University of Alaska;                  
                                                                               
     (6)  certificated teachers and noncertificated employees                  
          employed by a regional educational attendance area                   
          established and organized under AS 14.08.031 - 14.08.041             
          to teach in, administer, or operated schools under the               
          control of a regional educational attendance area school             
          board;                                                               
                                                                               
     (7)  certificated teachers employed by the Department of                  
          Education as correspondence teachers, teachers in skill              
          centers operated by the Department of Education, or                  
          teachers at Mt. Edgecumbe School;                                    
                                                                               
     (8)  members of boards and commissions and authorities if the             
          member is not entitled to compensation other than per                
          diem and travel for service on the board, commission, or             
          authority;                                                           
                                                                               
     (9)  emergency fire-fighting personnel by the Department of               
          Natural Resources for a fire emergency or for fire                   
          prevention and related activities conducted under AS                 
          41.15.030;                                                           
                                                                               
     (10) youth employed by the Department of Natural Resources                
          under the Youth Employment and Student Intern programs;              
                                                                               
     (11) students employed by the state institutions in which the             
          students are enrolled;                                               
                                                                               
     (12) persons engaged in employment or pre-employment training             
          programs operated by the Department of Military and                  
          Veteran's Affairs;                                                   
                                                                               
     (13) a participant in the Alaska temporary assistance program             
          under AS 47.27 who holds a temporary position with the               
          state in order to obtain job training or experience.                 
                                                                               
Number 0272                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ made a motion to move Amendment L.3 for               
discussion.                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN objected.  He said he is uncomfortable with the            
whole position of limiting how people can make a living because                
they want to take part in the political process.  Representative               
Ryan pointed out two representatives had to resign before they ran             
for office.  He asked why does a person have to give up their                  
career because they want to take part in the political process.                
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ responded this takes away that                        
restriction, this opens it up.                                                 
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN asked it that is going to include people                   
working here whose legislative system...                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said these people as he understands, who              
are listed, can now run for office as opposed to not being able to             
run for office before.                                                         
                                                                               
Number 0279                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS remarked there still would be a restriction,            
there would be some people that could not run for public office                
without resigning.                                                             
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Brown to tell the committee again who these              
people are.                                                                    
                                                                               
MR BROWN noted they would be employees of the legislature,                     
commissioners of departments, legislative aides, and special                   
assistants to commissioners.  People in the partial-exempt service             
in a lot of these positions -- deputy directors already cannot run,            
it's the higher-level people in the executive branch that are not              
covered by this law.  All the secretaries are prohibited from                  
running for state office while they have that job, many of their               
bosses are not, that's the inconsistency in the current law.                   
                                                                               
Number 0286                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN stated, "By going through this list and being very                   
specific about who in the exempt service is not being made to                  
resign upon running for office, we actually put a little amount of             
protection - a bubble around some other people.  Like officers and             
employees of the University of Alaska, certificated teachers and               
noncertificated teachers employed by an REAA (Rural Education                  
Attendance Area), the teachers at Mt. Edgecumbe, members of boards             
and commissions."                                                              
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN interjected that he is not going to let                    
teachers run for office while other people are restricted.                     
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Ryan if he was saying that he                 
wants people to keep their jobs, but if they're teachers he                    
doesn't.                                                                       
                                                                               
Number 0292                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied everybody.  This amendment restricts               
certain people and allows other people -- it's bologna.  He                    
believes it should be all or none.  Anybody can exercise their                 
privileges as a citizen, stand as a candidate, or nobody can.                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ reiterated that this opens it more than it            
is now.                                                                        
                                                                               
Number 0298                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON pointed out in some cases it calls for                    
difficult decisions on the part of people who opt to run for public            
office.  For example, Representative Elton said he had a very high-            
paying job in the exempt state service when he made the decision to            
run he resigned his job because he thought it would be awkward for             
him to control a budget of $15 million at the same time that he was            
running for legislative office.  He said he believes that that's               
the appropriate decision, and thinks that's a decision that ought              
to be enforced on a lot of other people in the exempt state                    
service.  He indicated the difficulty that he has is that his                  
clerical staff and some of the nonprofessional staff were also                 
exempt state employees.  Representative Elton asked, "How do you               
craft a perfect law that would allow them to do that because I                 
think it's probably more appropriate if they didn't control the                
budget?  I don't know.  I support this because I think this opens              
it up a little bit more than it was before, especially for those in            
the teaching service, but it is a difficult decision."                         
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN reiterated, "If we're going to hold people                 
down, let's hold everybody down, or we're going to open it up and              
let everybody have a chance."                                                  
                                                                               
Number 0311                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said she tends to agree on both sides of this issue,               
however, she believes there is a common line.  Even though they                
will be running for office (without having much time for                       
campaigning) she doesn't see how anybody can continue to do their              
work and run for office.  Chair James said, "If you're on the state            
payroll ... it seems to me like maybe resigning isn't the issue but            
certainly taking a leave-without-pay is because you ought not to be            
being paid while you're campaigning because you can't possibly be              
doing your work, and you're getting paid while you're campaigning.             
... The perception by the public, that if you are running for                  
office, which is a very intensive thing to do and you're still on              
the state payroll that that's wrong. ... It doesn't seem reasonable            
to me that a challenger should be able to have it both ways."                  
                                                                               
Number 0323                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS offered a proposed amendment, along that                
line, to Amendment L.3, line 6, which would read:                              
                                                                               
     Office shall immediately resign or take leave-without-pay for             
     any position held in the state service.                                   
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS indicated this does what Representative Ryan            
and Chair James would like to see.                                             
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said it does, however, she doesn't believe it applies              
to Representative Ryan's concerns.                                             
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS explained the rest of the list then would               
not have to take leave-without-pay.                                            
                                                                               
Number 0329                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.  He said he might be willing to             
contemplate this amendment if people in the private sector resigned            
from their positions or went on leave-without-pay in order to run.             
Representative Berkowitz said, "I think what this does is unfair to            
people in the public sector - to say that they can't do their jobs             
- the option is always available.  Now we want to ensure that they             
do their jobs correctly, that's what we have supervisorial                     
structure for, that's what we have this whole (indisc.) all this               
ethical codes to ensure.  But, when we put public employees in a               
different position than private employees that's unfair.  We talk              
a lot about making government more like private industry, one of               
the ways we can do it is let public employees run for office just              
like private employees."                                                       
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES remarked there is a vast difference between private                
employment and public employment because we all pay for the public             
employment and most of the decisions that the legislature makes                
affect that public employment.  If you need to quit your job on                
private employment, that's up to your employer not to the public               
because your job is not assumed to have any conflict with the job              
you are running for.                                                           
                                                                               
Number 0339                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS further explained that his amendment would              
allow people in Amendment L.3, line 4, to keep their job, to take              
a leave-without-pay otherwise under this section they would have to            
quit or they can't run.  He reiterated this would allow them to                
keep their job and run for office and then be reinstated into their            
job.                                                                           
                                                                               
     (e) An employee in the classified, partially exempt, or exempt            
     service who seeks nomination or becomes a candidate for...                
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ responded a lot of people he knows in                 
public service have accumulated vast amounts of leave, compensated             
leave time, if they choose to use that leave and run for public                
office they should be allowed to do that.  Or alternatively,                   
someone can run for office, just put their name on the ballot and              
not do any active campaigning.  He said there's all kinds of ways              
of running for office.  Some of us are more vigorous than others.              
Some times it's just a question of mailing things out, and getting             
on Television and radio.  He mentioned he's a door knocker himself             
but not everybody's going to adopt that tactic.                                
                                                                               
Number 0346.                                                                   
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said, "We live in a political arena constantly             
in this business and I happen to look at the actions as to what the            
political consequences may be.  If I recall correctly from last                
election, the opposition to my party ran 16 candidates and lost 16             
races, they had a net loss of minus three.  Obviously their                    
candidate pool has been diminished somewhat.  Opening this up here             
allows a whole new group of individuals to enter the arena and I               
don't think that, being a political animal, that I want to do that.            
I like my own survival and it was rough enough to start with and               
I'm not going to aid and abet the opposition no matter how loyal               
and wonderful people they are in helping them further their                    
political agenda, so I'm not going to support this."                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated for the record, "Anything that we can              
do to encourage any Alaskan to run for public office is a good step            
and I get a little bit upset when I hear people argue that some                
people ought not run because it reduces somebody's candidate pool.             
I think that any Alaskan who wants to run ought to be able to run.             
I will offer my first candidacy for elected state office as a good             
example, my opponent was an honorable person, he was a state                   
employee, he was a teacher and I think that everyone of the voters             
in my district benefited from his participation in one of the most             
important public processes that we go through.  So any argument                
that is used to preclude those people from running..."                         
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES interjected that she let him rebut to Representative               
Ryan's comment that really had nothing necessarily to do with                  
whether or not this amendment to the amendment is appropriate.                 
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES reread the amendment.                                              
                                                                               
TAPE 98-51, SIDE B                                                             
Number 0042                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said that's a whole different issue whether you're paid            
or not paid in this case.  She asked if there was any objection to             
the amendment to the amendment.                                                
                                                                               
Number 0045                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON offered a friendly amendment to the amendment.            
He suggested it read, "or take any leave" for any position, that               
leaves it open for annual leave or leave-without-pay.                          
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES stated that totally changes the amendment to the                   
amendment and would have to be a separate amendment.                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said if Representative Hodgins can                    
withdraw his amendment then we could maybe...                                  
                                                                               
Number 0049                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS withdrew his amendment.  There being no                 
objection, the amendment to the amendment was withdrawn.                       
                                                                               
Number 0052                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON offered his amendment to the amendment.  After            
the word resign, line 6, suggested adding "or take leave from":                
                                                                               
     or take leave from any position held in the state service.                
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS objected.                                               
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON spoke on his amendment to the amendment.  He              
said, "What we're doing is we're broadening the pool of people and             
we're increasing the options that a person may have if they make a             
decision to run for public office."                                            
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said, "I think what this does is contrary to the intent            
of this piece of legislation that allows them to continue to                   
receive funds from the state or from the public entity while                   
they're running which is not the intent of this legislation so I'm             
objecting."                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked for a roll call vote.  Representatives Hodgins,              
Elton and Berkowitz voted in support of the amendment to the                   
amendment.  Representative James and Ryan voted against it.                    
Therefore, the amendment to the amendment passed and was before the            
committee.                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES stated the amendment is before the committee and asked             
if there were objections to the amendment.                                     
                                                                               
Number 0067                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN objected.                                                  
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked for a roll call vote on Amendment LS0074\L.3 as              
amended.  Representatives Hodgins, Berkowitz and Elton voted in                
support of the amendment.  Representative James voted against it.              
                                                                               
Number 0081                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked a procedural question.  With eight                  
members on a committee do we have a quorum now and can we adopt a              
motion.                                                                        
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said you're right we can't.                                        
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked for an at-ease for approximately eight minutes               
for the purpose of obtaining a quorum.                                         
                                                                               
Number 0084                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES called the meeting back to order.                                  
                                                                               
Number 0088                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ made a motion to adopt Amendment LS0074\              
L.3 as amended.                                                                
                                                                               
MR. BROWN explained the amendment to Representative Sanders.                   
                                                                               
Number 0105                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES objected to the amendment and asked for a roll call                
vote.  Representatives Berkowitz, Hodgins, and Elton voted in                  
support of the amendment.  Representatives Sanders and James voted             
against it.  Therefore, the Amendment L.3 passed.                              
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES announced the next one up is L.4.                                  
                                                                               
Number 0110                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN addressed Amendment LS0074\L.4, Cramer, 4/3/98.  He said,            
"L.4 deals with, in the Executive Branch Ethics Act, a moratorium              
on the receipt and official consideration of complaints by the                 
Ethics Committee in a period immediately preceding a campaign.  The            
policy goal here is to prevent the politicization of the ethics                
process by taking away the committee's ability to actually                     
literally receive the complaint from a complainant and begin                   
determining whether or not it's valid and all the other stuff that             
(indisc.) forward in the ethics process."                                      
                                                                               
MR. BROWN continued, "The mechanics are, that if in the campaign               
period (which is 45 days before the primary or the day you file,               
whichever is later), once that campaign period clock starts ticking            
if someone files a complaint against you, Suzie [Barnett] would                
have to say to the complainant, 'I'm sorry we're in a campaign                 
period, I hereby return this to you, you're free to bring it back.'            
However, once the campaign period is over, that campaign period                
ends the day after the primary (if you lose the primary), or the               
day after you're reelected. ... The candidate does have the option,            
however, 11 days after the notification by the committee that an               
attempt to file the complaint was received to waive the provisions             
of this amendment.  The goal there being that if you're so sure                
you're innocent, you're not afraid to have the Ethics Committee                
investigating you while you're running for office, you have the                
right to waive this protection."                                               
                                                                               
     Page 28, Line 30, following ".":  Insert:                                 
                                                                               
     The committee shall respond to a complaint concerning the                 
     conduct of a candidate for election to state office received              
     during the campaign period in accordance with (o) of this                 
     section.                                                                  
                                                                               
     Page 32, following line 8:  Insert a new bill section to read:            
                                                                               
     *Sec. 52.  AS 24.60.170 is amended by adding a new subsection             
     to read:                                                                  
                                                                               
     (o) The committee shall return a complaint concerning the                 
     conduct of a candidate for state office received during a                 
     campaign period to the complainant unless the subject of the              
     complaint permits the committee to assume jurisdiction under              
     this subsection.  If the committee receives a complaint                   
     concerning the conduct of a candidate during the campaign                 
     period, the committee shall immediately notify the subject of             
     the complaint of the receipt of the complaint, of the                     
     suspension of the committee's jurisdiction during the campaign            
     period, and of the candidate's right to waive the suspension              
     of jurisdiction under this subsection.  The candidate may,                
     within 11 days after the committee mails or otherwise sends               
     notice of the complaint to the candidate, notify the committee            
     that the candidate chooses to have the committee proceed with             
     the complaint under this section.  If the candidate does not              
     act within that time or if the candidate notifies the                     
     committee that the candidate is not waiving the suspension of             
     committee jurisdiction, the committee shall return the                    
     complaint to the complainant with notice of the suspension of             
     jurisdiction under this subsection and of the right of the                
     complainant to file the complaint after the end of the                    
     campaign period.  A campaign period under this subsection                 
     begins on the later of 45 days before a primary election in               
     which the legislator or legislative employee is a candidate               
     for state office or the day on which the individual files as              
     a candidate for state office and ends at the close of election            
     day for the general or special election in which the                      
     individual is a candidate or on the day that the candidate                
     withdraws from the election, if earlier.  For a candidate who             
     loses in the primary election, the campaign period ends on the            
     day that results of the primary election showing that another             
     individual won the election are certified.                                
                                                                               
Number 0125                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON made a motion to move Amendment L.4, Cramer,              
4/3/98.  He asked Mr. Brown, "Under the effective dates of the bill            
you put Section 52 would take effect in January 1, 1999 and so this            
would not apply to this campaign year.  Could you tell me why                  
you've got it with that effective date when there are a couple of              
other effective dates?"                                                        
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied, "Merely because there's 114 sections in the                 
bill.  Rather than go through and pick out which ones needed to be             
effective now or then, there's kind of a default delayed effective             
date, especially to the executive branch changes to give them time             
to prepare for the changes.  There may in the provisions to the                
legislative ethics code that are good I think and it would be nice             
to have them go into effect earlier.  I just didn't want to have               
such a 'salt and pepper' approach, that it was really confusing                
what was going into effect when.  So the effort here is to make a              
very minimal number of things going into effect immediately -- and             
the vast majority of the rest of them."                                        
                                                                               
Number 0137                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS remarked we had questions yesterday                     
concerning a time period.  He asked if that was going to be                    
reflected somewhere or should that be inserted in this.                        
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied, "I think that needs to be another amendment to              
[AS] 24.60.170, but it's not going to be in subsection (o).  I will            
be happy to work with you in this committee or hypothetically in               
the next committee of referral to make sure we have a concrete                 
proposal on the idea of whether or not it's any more appropriate               
for the Ethics Committee to release a decision immediately before              
an election than it is for them to start proceedings since both                
actions by the Ethics Committee obviously can have an effect on the            
political process.  I don't think it's possible to tweak this, and             
I certainly didn't try to between yesterday and today."  He                    
indicated he would get something drafted on this.                              
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if there were objections to Amendment L.4.                   
                                                                               
Number 0149                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said what bothers him the most is it's                    
assuming that any complaint that is filed during an election period            
is politically driven.  There are going to be cases in the future              
in which a complaint is a justified complaint.  When you have those            
kinds of situations, he believes it's important that the public                
know, or that there is some kind of a resolution before an election            
period.  He may end up voting for this, but we're just assuming                
that all complaints about a (indisc.) person's activities are going            
to be politically motivated.  Representative Elton said he doesn't             
believe all of them will be and those that aren't ought to be part             
of the political debate that occurs before a campaign is finished.             
                                                                               
Number 0156                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES gave an analogy.  She said we make these decisions all             
the time, if there are more offenders than there are nonoffenders,             
generally bring everybody down to the level of offenders - we do it            
on every piece of legislation that has to do with crime or other               
restrictions and that's what we're doing here.  If most of the                 
complaints are politically motivated, then we're bringing them down            
and saying no one can do it.  Chair James understood Representative            
Elton's concerns but noted that's the way our system works.                    
                                                                               
Number 0161                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.                                             
                                                                               
Number 0162                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked for a roll call vote on Amendment L.4.                       
Representatives, Hodgins, Sanders, Elton, and James voted in favor             
of the amendment.  Representative Berkowitz voted against it.                  
Therefore, Amendment L. 4 was adopted.                                         
                                                                               
Number 0166                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN noted Amendment LS0074\L.5, Cramer, 4/3/98, deals with               
the campaign finance provisions of the bill that were already dealt            
with by both the House and Senate and their respective passages of             
SB 275.  SB 275 allows the governor to raise money during a session            
and allows legislators who are running for the office of governor              
to also raise money during a session, it does not allow by default             
legislators running for the legislature to raise money during a                
session.  The original approach of the bill was to create one                  
category of candidacy called "state office" that included all                  
legislators, governor and lieutenant governor.  Because we're going            
to have a different standard about when money can be raised by                 
either the executive branch or legislative branch, depending on the            
office they're seeking not the office they're currently holding,               
this amendment is necessary.  Amendment L.5 removes all the                    
references to "state office" and replaces them with bifurcated                 
reference to either governor, lieutenant governor, or legislature.             
The net effect is to permit legislators who are running for the                
office of governor to raise money during a legislative session and             
also to allow legislators who are running for the legislature to               
raise money during a "special session" if it's within 90 days of               
the election when they're running.                                             
                                                                               
Number 0179                                                                    
                                                                               
Mr. Brown concluded, "If this amendment doesn't pass, and also if              
the bill doesn't pass, none of you will be able to raise money                 
during a special session that's held this coming election."                    
                                                                               
     Page 2, line 6, through page 4, line 29:  Delete all material             
     and insert:                                                               
                                                                               
     (d) A candidate or an individual who has filed with the                   
     commission the document necessary to permit that individual to            
     incur election-related expenses under AS 15.13.100 for                    
     election or reelection to the state legislature may not                   
     solicit or accept a contribution while [IF] the legislature is            
     convened in a regular or special legislative session unless [,            
     AND] the solicitation or acceptance occurs during the 90 days             
     immediately preceding an election in which the candidate or               
     individual is a candidate [MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, OR                  
     EMPLOYED AS A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATOR'S STAFF OR AS A MEMBER             
     OF THE STAFF OF A LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE].                                 
                                                                               
     *Sec.3. AS 15.13.074(c) is amended to read:                               
                                                                               
     (c) a person or group may not make a contribution                         
                                                                               
     (1) to a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor or an              
     individual who files with the commission the document                     
     necessary to permit that individual to incur certain election-            
related expenses as authorized by AS 15.13.100 for governor or                 
lieutenant governor, [WHEN THE OFFICE IS TO BE FILLED AT A GENERAL             
ELECTION,] before the later of the following dates:                            
                                                                               
     (A)  the date the individual                                              
                                                                               
     (i)  becomes a candidate; or                                              
                                                                               
     (ii) files with the commission the document necessary to                  
          permit the individual to incur certain election-related              
          expenses as authorized by AS 15.13.100; or                           
                                                                               
     (B)  January 1 of the year of the [GENERAL] election when the             
          office is to be filled at a general election or the date             
          of the proclamation when the office is to be filled at a             
          special election;                                                    
                                                                               
     (2)  to a candidate for the state legislature or an individual            
          who files with the commission the document necessary to              
          permit that individual to incur certain election-related             
          expenses as authorized by AS 15.13.100 for the state                 
          legislature [. WHEN THE OFFICE IS TO BE FILLED AT A                  
          GENERAL ELECTION.] while the legislature is convened in              
          a regular or special legislative session, unless the                 
          contribution is made during the 90 days immediately                  
          preceding an election in which the candidate or                      
          individual is a candidate, or [AND] before the later of              
          the following dates:                                                 
                                                                               
     (A)  the date the individual                                              
                                                                               
     (i)  becomes a candidate; or                                              
                                                                               
     (ii) files with the commission the document necessary to                  
          permit the individual to incur certain election-related              
          expenses as authorized by AS 15.13.100; or                           
                                                                               
     (B)  January 1 of the year of the [GENERAL] election;                     
                                                                               
     (3)  to a candidate or an individual who files with the                   
          commission the document necessary to permit that                     
          individual to incur certain election-related expenses as             
          authorized by AS 15.13.100 for an office that is to be               
          filled at a [SPECIAL ELECTION OR] municipal election                 
          before the later of the following dates:                             
                                                                               
     (A)  the date the individual                                              
                                                                               
     (i)  becomes a candidate; or                                              
                                                                               
     (ii) files with the commission the document necessary to                  
          permit that individual to incur certain election-related             
          expenses as authorized by AS 15.13.100:                              
                                                                               
     (B)  the date that is nine months before the date of the                  
          [GENERAL OR REGULAR] municipal election [OR THAT IS                  
          BEFORE THE DATE OF THE PROCLAMATION OF THE SPECIAL                   
          ELECTION AT WHICH THE CANDIDATE OR INDIVIDUAL SEEKS                  
          ELECTION TO PUBLIC OFFICE]; or                                       
                                                                               
     (4)  to any candidate later than the 45th day                             
                                                                               
     (A)  after the date of a primary election if the candidate                
                                                                               
     (i)  has been nominated at the primary election or is running             
          as a write-in candidate; and                                         
                                                                               
     (ii) is not opposed at the general election;                              
                                                                               
     (B)  after the date of the primary election if the candidate              
          was not nominated at the primary election; or                        
                                                                               
     (C)  after the date of the general election, or after the date            
          of a municipal runoff election, if the candidate was                 
          opposed at the general municipal, or municipal runoff                
          election.                                                            
                                                                               
Number 0183                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked what is the effective date.                                  
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied it is set up to become effective immediately - if            
you look at the final sections of the proposed House Committee                 
Substitute.                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated, "It was my understanding that we              
could raise funds in a special session if it was within 90 days                
prior to an election."                                                         
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied he does not believe that exemption is in law and             
he knows it's not included in SB 105.  The reason is because of the            
changes that were affected in SB 275.                                          
                                                                               
Number 0192                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ made a motion to adopt Amendment L.5.                 
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if there was an objection to Amendment L.5.                  
                                                                               
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER replied tentatively, possibly.                            
                                                                               
Number 0195                                                                    
                                                                               
SUZIE BARNETT, Professional Assistant, Legislative Ethics                      
Committee, asked (on the net affect, when we make these changes)               
what happens to legislative staff because they pulled out and we               
get a new designation in here of legislators, can legislative staff            
now raise money during sessions or not.                                        
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said she thinks the way the law is written no                      
challengers or no one can raise money during a legislative session.            
Only in a special session when it's within 90 days of the election.            
                                                                               
MR. BROWN added, "It would already still be illegal in the                     
legislative ethics law for staff to be candidates or to raise money            
to solicit or accept..."                                                       
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES stated staff would have to quit before they file.                  
                                                                               
Number 0206                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if the objection was maintained.                             
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ referred to Section (3), page 2, a person             
may not make a contribution "to a candidate or an individual who               
files with the commission the document necessary to permit that                
individual to incur certain election-related expenses as authorized            
by AS 15.13.100 for an office that is to be filled at a municipal              
election before the later of the following dates":                             
                                                                               
MR. BROWN explained that's when the clock starts ticking to when               
you can make your donations and it's nine months.  That's the                  
provision of the Campaign Finance Act passed to supersede the                  
voters' initiative.  The importance there, for those who might run             
for a municipal office in Anchorage, is that nine months is that               
half of the nine months is going to run through the legislative                
session.                                                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ indicated he is not anxious to see them to            
be able to raise funds during a legislative session.                           
                                                                               
MR. BROWN concluded they won't until the 90 days kicks in, but it              
would be unfair not to give them 90 days if you're giving yourself             
90 days...                                                                     
                                                                               
Number 0219                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he wanted to ensure that a legislator            
running for a municipal office is limited by the requirements of               
the restrictions of the office sought, not the office held.                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied, "Yes, that's the effect (indisc.) in SB 275 and             
this goes through this bill and conforms its changes to the rest of            
the statute..."                                                                
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stressed, "I just want to be real clear               
that we accept this change, understanding that there are some                  
serious risks that the public is going to perceive impropriety with            
legislators who seek money - and runs for other offices.  I just               
want to be clear on that, it's more of a caveat to people who are              
raising funds particularly other offices."                                     
                                                                               
Number 0230                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "Ben [ Mr. Brown], let me make sure I               
understand the effects of this, you're deleting a lot of language              
and it seems to me that some of the language which you're deleting             
includes language on page 3, lines 14 and 15, which was a House                
change that allows candidates to begin raising money on June 1 of              
the year before an election.  You're not putting that provision                
back in this language - if that's the case I applaud you, thank you            
very much.  So this maintains the prohibition on fund-raising in               
off years."                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN replied yes it does.                                                 
                                                                               
Number 0236                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if the objection is maintained on Amendment L.5.             
There being none, Amendment L.5 was adopted.                                   
                                                                               
Number 0237                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN said, as he mentioned before, unless there's someone on              
the committee who wants to reinstate the ban on spousal lobbying               
they don't need to consider Amendment L.6.  He said he would make              
sure it's available to the members of the Finance Committee.                   
                                                                               
Number 0239                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to move Amendment LS0074\L.8,             
Cramer, 4/8/98, by Representative Ryan (because he has another                 
meeting scheduled).                                                            
                                                                               
     Page 37, following line 19:  Insert a new bill section to                 
     read:                                                                     
                                                                               
     *Sec.63. AS 24.60 is amended by adding a new section to read:             
                                                                               
     Sec.24.60.975. Liability for fling a frivolous legislative                
     ethics complaint.                                                         
                                                                               
     A person who files a complaint against a legislator under AS              
     24.60.170 and that the complaint is frivolous or that the                 
     committee lacks jurisdiction to consider it is liable to the              
     subject of the complaint if the complaint is dismissed under              
     AS 24.60.170(c) as frivolous or because the committee's lack              
     of jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint.  The            
     subject of the complaint may recover the greater of actual                
     damages or $5,000 from the person who filed the complaint.                
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS offered a proposed amendment by deleting the            
word "the" so it now reads "and that complaint is frivolous."                  
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES suggested deleting the word "that" and leaving the word            
"the."                                                                         
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS agreed.                                                 
                                                                               
Number 0251                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected for purposes of discussion.                  
                                                                               
Number 0255                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if there was objection to the amendment to the               
amendment [Amendment L.5].  There being none, it was adopted.                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Ms. Barnett how is a determination              
made that a complaint is frivolous.                                            
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT noted she didn't have a copy of the amendment.  [Being             
faxed].  She said, "We're not actually allowed to do that yet, so              
I guess this amendment addresses that - part of the bill that talks            
about us being able to do that."                                               
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ suggested Representative Hodgins withdraw             
the amendment until such time is appropriate to discuss it.                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS said he would just as soon keep the                     
amendment in.                                                                  
                                                                               
Number 0264                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES suggested they leave it in and address "frivolous"                 
before they move the bill.                                                     
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied he thinks they're putting the cart            
before the horse if they do that - we've done it before.                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "The thing that bothers me about this               
amendment, is that I think that there are a lot of people that -               
this is like throwing cold water on some people.  There are a lot              
of people that may be precluded from even approaching the ethics               
committee if, in fact they don't know what frivolous means.  It's              
one thing to have the committee to determine it, and I think the               
committee is good, and I think the committee probably can make a               
determination, but I have a feeling that with this law, there's                
going to be a lot of people that won't even approach the committee             
because they don't know what frivolous means."                                 
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said she believes everybody knows what frivolous means.            
                                                                               
Number 0274                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said unfortunately, that kind of clarity              
doesn't exist in the law and there are reams of cases discussing               
whether an issue is frivolous or not.  There is a possibility of               
determining, with greater clarity, what it is.  He indicated                   
there's a bill that went through the Judiciary Committee where they            
talked about the standards in Civil Rule 11, for the first time in             
legislation there was a description of what constituted frivolous.             
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said she thought they could borrow it, but they didn't             
have it before them.  She suggested they deal with that later.                 
Chair James asked for a vote.                                                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he didn't want to be in a position of            
denying the chair a quorum, but he didn't think there was enough               
time to vote on this issue - he is not prepared to vote.                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON jokingly said to Representative Berkowitz, "If            
you pour me a cup of coffee I'll go with you."                                 
                                                                               
Number 0288                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN explained they are putting in the ability of the                     
committee to determine if a complaint is frivolous.  There isn't a             
definition in the bill as yet, so that's very much a valuable                  
question.  It's going to become much more important for there to be            
a definition if there's going to be a penalty attached than if it's            
merely an action that the committee can take to dismiss.                       
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT said she thinks the [ethics] committee would like the              
opportunity for complaints that appear frivolous - how you drive,              
or with purple hair - to not have to spend time and money on them.             
But when you put a fine on it, we may be talking about people who              
lack the mental capability at times to understand the law, and to              
determine if something is within the ethics code, if it's frivolous            
or not.  You would be fining some people whom she didn't think they            
intend this for.                                                               
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said it doesn't say that the ethics committee is going             
to impose a penalty, it says that there has to be a case.  She                 
thinks they can sue and get up to $5,000 or their actual damages               
whichever is the higher.                                                       
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT stated so they would sue in court.                                 
                                                                               
Number 0309                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES replied that's what it looks like to her, it doesn't               
say anything about it being a fine.  It look like they'll have to              
file a case against them for that.  She doesn't know that it's                 
necessarily up to the Legislative Ethics Committee to determine for            
sure that it's frivolous.  It reads:                                           
                                                                               
     The subject of the complaint may recover the greater of actual            
     damages or $5,000 from the person who filed the complaint.                
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT said Chair James is right, it isn't the ethics                     
committee setting any fines or recommending any fines.  She                    
concluded that she doesn't know who finds it to be frivolous then.             
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES stressed that it would have to be determined in a                  
hearing of some sort.                                                          
                                                                               
Number 0315                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS asked Representative Berkowitz, "In the                 
court function, this would obviously go to court, what kind of                 
discovery must there be made to establish frivolous.  That's not a             
new word for the court, so it must already be decided.  I don't                
think we need to identify what frivolous means in this because it              
will be the court that will decide."                                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said his read on the way this is written              
right now is that might wind up being the ethics committee                     
determining whether a complaint is frivolous, and Ms. Barnett said             
she didn't think it was that.                                                  
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked isn't there some place in this piece of                      
legislation that indicates that if it is frivolous they can send it            
back.  Currently they have to review every case, this way it gives             
them the chance to send it back if it appears to be frivolous.                 
                                                                               
Number 0322                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BROWN referred to page 29, lines 13 to 17:                                 
                                                                               
     If the committee determines that the allegations, if proven,              
     would not give rise to a violation, that the complaint is                 
     frivolous on its face, that there is insufficient credible                
     information that can be uncovered to warrant further                      
     investigation by the committee, or that [IF] the committee's              
     lack of jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint,            
     the committee shall dismiss the complaint[,] and shall notify             
     the complainant and the subject of the complaint of the                   
     dismissal.                                                                
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stressed if the committee determines, if              
it's frivolous, then there's no action pursuit.  He asked Ms.                  
Barnett if this was right.                                                     
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT replied that would be correct, there would not be any              
money spent or action.                                                         
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated, "Then it's gone, so there's no                
damages.  If you get something that's frivolous on its face, the               
legislature never sees it really until it's gone."                             
                                                                               
Number 0329                                                                    
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT responded the "legislator" would see it, the subject of            
the complaint always sees a complaint.  She assumed even under the             
frivolous category.                                                            
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ remarked someone said they didn't like                
Representative Berkowitz' tie for example, you [Ms. Barnett] said              
this was a frivolous complaint but you let me know about it.                   
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT replied correct.                                                   
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said I have not suffered any actual                   
damages.                                                                       
                                                                               
MS. BARNETT said that would be her take.                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said what we're doing is really just                  
talking about the sleeves in someone's vest, it's really not an                
issue.                                                                         
                                                                               
Number 0334                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES referred to Amendment L.8, line 10 [beginning on line              
9] which says "The subject of the complaint may recover the greater            
of actual damages or $5,000..."  If there aren't any damages they              
still could get $5,000, but it doesn't tell her that they're going             
to get that without going to court.  The only evidence that they               
would have would be the complaint that was filed, the subject of               
this complaint also gets a notice of that, and quite frankly the               
newspaper will have notice of it, she can't imagine anybody filing             
a frivolous ethics complaint and not having anybody know about it.             
Chair James concluded she doesn't necessarily think the ethics                 
committee has to necessarily determine that.  If they do determine             
one that's frivolous and it ends up going to court, and it wasn't,             
then there might be a problem with the ethics committee not having             
done their job well.                                                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he didn't think there's anything that                
precludes a person from pursuing a civil action now on a frivolous             
claim that's either liable or slanderous.  He said they may just be            
restating something that's already out there, if in fact this                  
requires no action by the Legislative Ethics Committee.                        
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES mentioned, "I (indisc.) those same people who                      
Representative Berkowitz says doesn't seem to know what's frivolous            
might see and that was his concern that we're going to deter people            
from filing complaints.  If that's the intent, then this might do              
that."                                                                         
                                                                               
Number 0353                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON mentioned that was his point.  He indicated               
there are a lot of people who see the world differently then they              
do, there are a lot of people in the body that see the world                   
differently.  Just because they do, it doesn't mean that their view            
is frivolous.                                                                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said, "What we're really striking at here             
is not frivolous law suits, what we're striking at here is abuse of            
process.  If there were an amendment that addressed the abuse of               
process, where people were attempting to use the ethics complaint              
as a 'sword' instead of a 'shield,' then I would be more receptive             
to it."                                                                        
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES announced they are going to leave Amendment L.8 on the             
table.                                                                         
                                                                               
ADJOURNMENT                                                                    
                                                                               
Number 0367                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Standing Committee at            
9:44 a.m.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects