Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/29/1999 08:07 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
       HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                   April 29, 1999                                                                                               
                     8:07 a.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                                                                           
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Scott Ogan                                                                                                       
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
Representative Bill Hudson                                                                                                      
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Harold Smalley                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
* HOUSE BILL 192                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to reciting the pledge of allegiance by public                                                                 
school students."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 192 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL 104                                                                                                                 
"An Act relating to the Kuskokwim Ice Classic."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 104 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 179                                                                                       
"An Act eliminating the Alaska Public Offices Commission and all                                                                
campaign contribution and expenditure limits; transferring the                                                                  
administration of lobbying, conflict of interest, and financial                                                                 
disclosure statutes from the Alaska Public Offices Commission to                                                                
the division of elections; relating to reporting of campaign                                                                    
contributions and expenditures; defining 'full disclosure,'                                                                     
'purposely,' 'recklessly,' and 'resident'; amending the definition                                                              
of 'contribution,' 'group,' and 'political party'; changing the                                                                 
residency requirements for candidates for public offices; and                                                                   
providing for criminal penalties for violation of these                                                                         
provisions."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14                                                                            
Relating to the National Museum of Women's History and the National                                                             
Museum of Women's History Alaska Council.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - WAIVED FROM COMMITTEE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
(* First public hearing)                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 192                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) JAMES, Dyson, Kohring, Ogan,                                                                     
Coghill                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 4/13/99       795     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/13/99       795     (H)  STA, JUD                                                                                            
 4/15/99       833     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): DYSON                                                                                 
 4/21/99       905     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING                                                                               
 4/23/99       964     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): OGAN                                                                                  
 4/27/99      1038     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): COGHILL                                                                               
 4/22/99               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
 4/22/99               (H)  <BILL POSTPONED TO 4/29>                                                                            
 4/29/99               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 104                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: KUSKOKWIM ICE CLASSIC                                                                                              
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) HOFFMAN                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/14/99       528     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 3/14/99       528     (S)  STA                                                                                                 
 4/08/99               (S)  STA AT  3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                           
 4/08/99               (S)  MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                              
 4/08/99               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                                                                         
 4/09/99               (S)  RLS AT 12:15 PM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                      
 4/09/99               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                         
 4/09/99       844     (S)  STA RPT  1DP 4NR                                                                                    
 4/09/99       844     (S)  NR: WARD, PHILLIPS, GREEN, WILKEN;                                                                  
 4/09/99       844     (S)  DP: ELTON                                                                                           
 4/09/99       844     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV)                                                                              
 4/12/99       878     (S)  RULES TO CALENDAR 1NR 2OR 4/12/99                                                                   
 4/12/99       882     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                                
 4/12/99       882     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                                                                      
                            CONSENT                                                                                             
 4/12/99       882     (S)  READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 104                                                                         
 4/12/99       883     (S)  PASSED Y15 N4  E1                                                                                   
 4/12/99       885     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                  
 4/13/99       787     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/13/99       787     (H)  STA                                                                                                 
 4/29/99               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 179                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: APOC REPEAL: CAMPAIGN/DISCLOSURE/LOBBYIST                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) COGHILL, Sanders                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 4/07/99       671     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/07/99       671     (H)  STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                       
 4/15/99               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
 4/15/99               (H)  <BILL CANCELED>                                                                                     
 4/19/99       866     (H)  SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                       
 4/19/99       866     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/19/99       866     (H)  STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                       
 4/22/99               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
 4/22/99               (H)  HEARD AND HELD                                                                                      
 4/27/99               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
 4/27/99               (H)  BILL CANCELED                                                                                       
 4/29/99               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD SCHMITZ, Staff                                                                                                          
  to Representative James                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 102                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-3743                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 192 on behalf of Representative                                                               
                     James.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DENNY WEATHERS                                                                                                                  
c/o P.O. Box 1791                                                                                                               
Deep Bay                                                                                                                        
Cordova, Alaska  99574                                                                                                          
Telephone:  (907) 424-3745                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 192.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CAROL NILSON                                                                                                                    
109 Shannon Drive                                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska  99701                                                                                                        
Telephone:  (907) 452-7835                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 192.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DARROLL HARGRAVES, Executive Director                                                                                           
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
326 Fourth Street, Suite 404                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
Telephone:  (907) 586-9702                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 192.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TIM GRUSSENDORF, Researcher                                                                                                     
  to Senator Hoffman                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 7                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-4453                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SB 104 on behalf of Senator Hoffman.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-32, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES called the House State Affairs Standing                                                                   
Committee meeting to order at 8:07 a.m.  Members present at the                                                                 
call to order were Representatives James, Coghill, Ogan, Whitaker,                                                              
and Smalley.  Representatives Kerttula and Hudson arrived at 8:08                                                               
and 8:20 a.m. respectively.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 192-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES announced the first item on the agenda is HB 192, "An                                                               
Act relating to reciting the pledge of allegiance by public school                                                              
students."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 018                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD SCHMITZ, Staff to Representative James, explained HB 192                                                                
amends the existing state flag statute to include the requirement                                                               
that the Pledge of Allegiance be offered in the public schools on                                                               
a regular basis.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY cited that the Pledge of Allegiance is an                                                                
every-morning activity in the Kenai Peninsula School District and                                                               
that the staff members are encouraged to conduct different                                                                      
assignments because reciting the pledge becomes rote and has little                                                             
meaning until it is discussed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHMITZ said HB 192 would also standardize the state.  He                                                                   
mentioned Anchorage and Fairbanks students are required to give the                                                             
Pledge of Allegiance and that the Aleutian East School District                                                                 
recently instituted a pledge policy which they found to be very                                                                 
successful.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 077                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY emphasized that students who do not                                                                      
participate, due to a religious belief or other, should not be                                                                  
identified and ridiculed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHMITZ referred to page 1, lines 9 and 10, "or maintain a                                                                  
respectful silence," and noted it would be an option.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA pointed out that supreme court cases                                                                    
recognized the religious rights not to pledge and that you don't                                                                
even necessarily need to be respectful.  Furthermore, a person can                                                              
dissent from the pledge if he or she wants to remain silent.                                                                    
Representative Kerttula asked, "Have you thought about taking out                                                               
the word 'respectful' and have it just be 'maintaining silence'                                                                 
because that word might connotate a little bit greater meaning than                                                             
actually the courts have recognized."  Her second point was it may                                                              
include teachers and suggested changing the language to "anyone or                                                              
any person."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 115                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said she doesn't believe there is anything wrong with                                                               
the word "respectful" and indicated that she would rather go to the                                                             
supreme court rather than to remove the word "respectful."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA emphasized that there could be real                                                                     
problems with the bill without the two constitutional points.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES believes people should be treated with fairness and                                                                 
respect and she recognizes anyone's rights that are listed in the                                                               
Bill of Rights.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN hoped people are respectful when saying the                                                                 
pledge in honor to those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for                                                              
our flag.  He added that being respectful is appropriate.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER said he is glad the word is in the                                                                      
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 182                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY asked, what about the courts and the                                                                     
determination of "students may" to say "any person may."  He                                                                    
stressed the point that staff is generally protected by agreements                                                              
but volunteers are not.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said she doesn't think it changes the teacher's rights,                                                             
but we'll take that into consideration.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 237                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DENNY WEATHERS, testified in support of HB 192, via teleconference                                                              
from Cordova stating respect should be included for all of them                                                                 
(teachers, students, and volunteers) and read the following                                                                     
testimony:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I think this bill is very important to Alaska and the future                                                               
     of America.  Many adolescents and adults I talk with cannot                                                                
     recite the Pledge of Allegiance.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Children in Alaska's public schools are being taught that                                                                  
     America is a democracy even though the Constitution of the                                                                 
     United States of American ... and the Alaska Statehood Act ...                                                             
     guarantees every state in the Union a republican form of                                                                   
     government and the Pledge of Allegiance reinforces "to the                                                                 
     republic for which it stands."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     [She explained the history of the American flag].                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I support and will defend HB 192 as I will the flag of the                                                                 
     United States of America which will be 222 years old on June                                                               
     14, 1999 and I will continue to pledge allegiance to the flag                                                              
     of the United States of America and to the republic for which                                                              
     it stands as Americans have been doing for the past 106 years                                                              
     and would hope others would too.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 314                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CAROL NILSON testified in support of HB 192 via teleconference from                                                             
Fairbanks.  She said she supports the following text:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     United States and Alaska flags shall be displayed of upon or                                                               
     near each principal school building during school hours and at                                                             
     other times the governing body considers proper.  The                                                                      
     governing body shall require that an appropriate flag exercise                                                             
     be held regularly in each classroom, at school assemblies,                                                                 
     and, if feasible, at interscholastic events.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. NILSON also supports the choice of maintaining a respectful                                                                 
silence.  If passed, she believes the bill's action may help to                                                                 
bring a more patriotic attitude toward our country.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 355                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DARROLL HARGRAVES, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School                                                                 
Administrators, appeared before the committee noting that he is                                                                 
speaking for himself because his membership hasn't informed him of                                                              
what their position is.  He told the members when he was a teacher                                                              
the children learned and memorized the Pledge of Allegiance and                                                                 
it's saddening to find junior and senior students today who have                                                                
not.  He said he cannot understand what's wrong with the Pledge of                                                              
Allegiance in a classroom because we recite it at sporting events                                                               
and we hear it in the chambers of the legislature.  He also                                                                     
mentioned the students are meant to feel okay about removing                                                                    
themselves from the classroom and from that activity and believes                                                               
no harm is being done to those individuals.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARGRAVES said he believes there is a provision which allows                                                                
flags to be displayed in the classroom, furthermore HB 192 adds                                                                 
that flags will be displayed around the buildings.  He concluded,                                                               
"But the sad thing is that because of a rebellious nature on the                                                                
part of some staff, I'm afraid in public schools, in recent                                                                     
decades, they will not put those flags up in the classroom.  So we                                                              
have a situation where I think it's okay to call attention to the                                                               
need of the flag in the classroom, and I think there's a need to                                                                
teach children the Pledge of Allegiance."  Mr. Hargraves commended                                                              
Chair James for introducing HB 192 and stated, without polling his                                                              
membership, he believes the vast majority of Alaska Council of                                                                  
School Administrators will support the Pledge of Allegiance in the                                                              
classroom.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 417                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES explained HB 192  doesn't require that a flag be in the                                                             
classroom, however the new language states, "The governing body                                                                 
shall require that an appropriate flag exercise be held regularly                                                               
in each classroom," and they can't do that without a flag.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARGRAVES mentioned one of the first things he did when he was                                                              
a superintendent was he bought enough flags to put in every                                                                     
classroom.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN indicated he heard rumors that some people in                                                               
the U.S. do not want to pledge allegiance due to the reference of,                                                              
"One Nation Under God."  He asked Mr. Hargraves if that's a problem                                                             
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARGRAVES replied, not in Alaska, unless a person doesn't                                                                   
believe in God.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA mentioned the "Jehovah's Witness" is one of                                                             
the dissenting groups because they do not pledge to anything,                                                                   
therefore, the supreme court allowed them not to say the pledge.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 464                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA offered Amendment 1 which changes the                                                                   
title,"by public school students," to:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public                                                             
     schools.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 9,                                                                                                                    
          Delete:  Students                                                                                                     
          Insert:  Any person                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA explained that, "Any person," clarifies                                                                 
that if staff, or teachers' aids were in the classroom they would                                                               
recognize that they too had a right to leave or remain silent.  She                                                             
emphasized that if that isn't included, it might add confusion over                                                             
whether it was just a student's right or everyone's right.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if a teacher refuses to participate, will                                                             
they have to bring someone in to lead the class in the pledge.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA replied she supposed so since it's their                                                                
constitutional right, however someone could come in or a student                                                                
could lead the pledge if they wanted to.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 489                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected to the amendment because if a staff                                                             
person felt strongly about it he or she could be excused or stand                                                               
silently as a student might.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES mentioned Representative Hudson had arrived.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY supports Amendment 1 because it encompasses                                                              
not just the students but mostly anybody within the building and                                                                
that the pledge has been recited by his students on a voluntary                                                                 
basis.  He also noted that it is broadcast over the public system                                                               
in many schools and that it is an encouraging lesson for elementary                                                             
students to volunteer to lead the class.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he opposes the amendment because it's a                                                                
constitutional right, and if we address it specifically, it doesn't                                                             
change that right.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 536                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said she is troubled with changing the language because                                                             
the emphasis is for students and it has nothing to do with teachers                                                             
and volunteers or other folks because their rights are still there.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON doesn't believe there is that problem because                                                             
HB 192 does not state that the teacher or that any student has to                                                               
cite the pledge, it simply states that the governing body (probably                                                             
the superintendent or the principal) has to make it available.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA explained that if this were to become law,                                                              
only the body of the text would be in the statute and everyone                                                                  
won't have the benefit of hearing this discussion to understand                                                                 
that it was only directed to students.  She also noted that the                                                                 
title of the bill won't be seen to recognize that it was aimed just                                                             
at students, therefore, it will be confusing to people.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said people are allowed to do, district by                                                              
district, what they do.  She further stated, "I don't see the                                                                   
problem, I don't see why we need the bill but if we do need the                                                                 
bill and we want to make a statement, I think we should at least be                                                             
clear that this is everyone's right not to do this - and I do think                                                             
it will result in some confusion.  So just to try to maintain the                                                               
constitutionality, I think it would be better to have it be any                                                                 
person.  I thought about what the sponsor just said about wanting                                                               
to be sure we have public school students in the title, you could                                                               
say something like, 'Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance by public                                                                
school students and in public schools,' because especially for                                                                  
instance if we're doing it at interscholastic events you're                                                                     
probably going to have parents and other people around as well.  So                                                             
that's why I'm offering the amendment, it's just for the sake of                                                                
clarity since this is something new for us."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 610                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES pointed out that HB 192 was prompted by young students                                                              
whose teachers told them the Pledge of Allegiance is not a good                                                                 
thing.  She then requested a roll call vote on the amendment.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Upon a second roll call vote, Representatives Smalley, Kerttula and                                                             
Whitaker voted in favor of adopting proposed Amendment 1 and                                                                    
Representatives  Hudson, Ogan, Coghill and James voted against it.                                                              
Therefore, Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 3-4.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 669                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON moved to report HB 192 out of committee with                                                              
individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal note.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB 104-KUSKOKWIM ICE CLASSIC                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES announced the next issue up is SB 104, "An Act relating                                                             
to the Kuskokwim Ice Classic."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A brief-at-ease was taken to close out street noise.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 684                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TIM GRUSSENDORF, Researcher, presented SB 104 on behalf of Senator                                                              
Hoffman.  He noted that SB 104 is basically a housekeeping measure                                                              
to allow Bethel Community Services Foundation, Inc. to manage a                                                                 
Kuskokwim Ice Classic which is required by the Department of                                                                    
Revenue; it's only a name change.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 692                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY moved to report SB 104 out of committee with                                                             
individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal note.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 179-APOC REPEAL: CAMPAIGN/DISCLOSURE/LOBBYIST                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 702                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES announced the next order of business is SSHB 179, "An                                                               
Act eliminating the Alaska Public Offices Commission and all                                                                    
campaign contribution and expenditure limits; transferring the                                                                  
administration of lobbying, conflict of interest, and financial                                                                 
disclosure statutes from the Alaska Public Offices Commission to                                                                
the division of elections; relating to reporting of campaign                                                                    
contributions and expenditures; defining 'full disclosure,'                                                                     
'purposely,' 'recklessly,' and 'resident'; amending the definition                                                              
of 'contribution,' 'group,' and 'political party'; changing the                                                                 
residency requirements for candidates for public offices; and                                                                   
providing for criminal penalties for violation of these                                                                         
provisions."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES mentioned Representative Coghill will explain the                                                                   
changes and that this will be more of a work session.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 719                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said his main goal is to bring a clear open                                                              
disclosure to the Alaska voters and that his main aim is to make                                                                
sure that the voters are able to have immediate access to campaign                                                              
spending and open reporting which is available on the Internet and                                                              
that there is a clear candidate and that an affidavit is required                                                               
- an open file.  He further explained that the Division of                                                                      
Elections will have clear penalties for a candidate's failure to                                                                
disclose because he thinks (if you're going to have an open                                                                     
disclosure with limits taken off) their needs to be a clear and                                                                 
immediate action taken on failure to disclose.  Representative                                                                  
Coghill further believes the accountability is high if the limits                                                               
are removed.  In repealing the APOC (Alaska Public Offices                                                                      
Commission) he said his the basic premise was he is not convinced                                                               
that having a police agency within the Administration is really the                                                             
wise thing to do because there has to be a separation of powers                                                                 
where if we really are going to demand a civil or criminal activity                                                             
that should happen over in the legal system, in the court system.                                                               
He said the original bill brought the hammer down a little hard and                                                             
the Department of Law asked him if he really wanted to make people                                                              
criminals for smaller infractions.  He said it was a good point so                                                              
he went back and revisited it.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 763                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL directed the member's attention to page 34                                                               
of the working draft, Section 39.50.025 Filing, and asked them to                                                               
flag that because he wants them to know, if APOC is repealed, how                                                               
it would affect the conflict of interest report.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL stated Title 24, Sections 30 and 31, page                                                                
24, deals with lobbying, the back two sections of this deal with                                                                
the lobbying conflict of interest statements and the first section                                                              
deals with Title 15 is the campaign disclosure reporting procedure                                                              
(mostly under APOC).                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL continued, beginning on page 16, Sections 22                                                             
and 23, addresses civil penalties, Section 6, page 4, refer to                                                                  
criminal penalties.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL explained his main premise for HB 179, in                                                                
repealing APOC, is to take the police agency work out of it and                                                                 
turn that court judicial action over to the legal system.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 803                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL referred to the question, "should there be                                                               
limits as to who should give and how much should be given."  He                                                                 
said he addressed that in Section 4, Full Disclosure Reports, by                                                                
taking information from regulations and some from statutes he tried                                                             
to make what he thinks should come up on a screen (Internet) or                                                                 
stay in a file (spreadsheet) so it is very clear.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL directed the members' attention to pages 1,                                                              
2, and 3 which address full disclosure.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     1.   all expenditures                                                                                                      
     2.   contributions                                                                                                         
     3.   loans                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 821                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL explained that HB 179 requires each                                                                      
expenditure and contribution, the date, how it was paid (with a                                                                 
check, credit card or cash) and the contributor's name.  He said he                                                             
omitted the contributor's address because he questioned whether he                                                              
wanted to put somebody's address on the screen.  He added, however,                                                             
if there's going to be full disclosure he guesses there's a need                                                                
for that and is open for discussion.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-32, SIDE B                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Approximately four minutes of blank space on tape which is due to                                                              
flipping the tape over - no testimony was lost].                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 007                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked Representative Coghill if he means to                                                             
require reporting of, "all of this information for donations under                                                              
and over $100.00," for contributions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied that it was brought up (at the last                                                              
meeting) that contributions under $100.00 would be a problem.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA noted it currently isn't required.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said, for example if someone gives you $25.00, the                                                                  
fifth time that person contributes $25.00 you would have to report                                                              
that, "valued at more than $100.00 a year."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said his aim was to show an accumulation.                                                                
He indicated that he isn't sure if he has it correct on how it is                                                               
to be shown if someone wishes to only donate $25.00.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said that can be fixed by the legal drafter.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL believes it will have to show that a                                                                     
candidate did receive the money.  He mentioned that this was pulled                                                             
from APOC regulations and that he is trying to show what reporting                                                              
needs to be in this one area.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 053                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON pointed out his concern with the original                                                                 
bill was that there was no limitation on the amount that could be                                                               
contributed to a candidate from either a corporation, union, or                                                                 
individuals.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL read Section 11, page 7 (of the working                                                                  
draft), noting that he took Representative Hudson's suggestion:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Prohibited contributions.  (a) a person or group may not make                                                              
     a contribution if the making of the contribution would violate                                                             
     the chapter.                                                                                                               
     (b) a person or group many not make a contribution                                                                         
     anonymously, using a fictitious name, or using the name of                                                                 
     another.                                                                                                                   
     (c) a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association,                                                                
     organization, business trust or surety, labor union, or                                                                    
     publicly funded entity that does not satisfy the definition of                                                             
     group in as 15.13.400 may not make a contribution to a                                                                     
     candidate or group.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL pointed out that (c) came from existing APOC                                                             
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 079                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL explained that a provision is provided for                                                               
folks who want to form a pack (similar to what they have now) with                                                              
a full recognition that corporations, public entities, were not                                                                 
formed for the specific purpose of promoting candidates or                                                                      
propositions.  They would have to have full-consent of the pack                                                                 
before making a contribution.  He said he remembered reading a                                                                  
court case that made him think that through.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON remarked, "They could make up to $1,000."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said she believes it is currently $500 that any one                                                                 
person can give and isn't it $1,000 for a group?                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied, "It couldn't come from this arena                                                               
but they still would be able to give under a pack or a group."  He                                                              
then referred to the "Definitions," (page 20, Section 24) and                                                                   
reiterated that the aim was to take the limits off, but the                                                                     
immediate disclosure (every 15 days) in his thinking is that the                                                                
people are going to be the judges of the matter rather than the                                                                 
state.  Therefore, he didn't put the limits on them.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 157                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said it seems like HB 179 is going on a different                                                                   
philosophy than the legislature has been headed with campaign                                                                   
finance reform.  She indicated Representative Coghill's theory is                                                               
that only some people are not to be trusted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied there is no doubt that this is                                                                   
viewed as a radical departure and it certainly is not meant as an                                                               
attack.  He noted that what has been done is we've limited campaign                                                             
spending up until the time they actually put their name on the                                                                  
list.  "That's the time you sign up is the time that you can begin                                                              
raising money, so that's the time that you begin disclosing."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 223                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL further explained that and the affidavit is                                                              
sworn testimony that a candidate has not spent money.  He referred                                                              
to Section 25, Declaration of candidacy, stating that this section                                                              
is pretty much what we're doing now, it's just that it all starts                                                               
at one point.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL pointed out that allowance is made for some                                                              
polling and personal travel so that a candidate can "test the                                                                   
waters," but that's not campaign spending under the current rules                                                               
and that it would be a constitutional problem if you tried to stop                                                              
them from asking people, "Should I run."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL summarized his previous testimony and                                                                    
emphasized the Department of Law made a good point about making                                                                 
somebody a criminal based on small infractions.  He said there had                                                              
to some leeway for the department to say that under certain                                                                     
conditions it was worthy of an administrative fine, then a civil                                                                
penalty, and a civil court action.  He said it was at that point                                                                
that he wanted to separate it from the department.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL referred to the question, "Can this money be                                                             
taken for personal use," and directed the members' attention to                                                                 
page 11, Section 18, Uses of campaign contributions held by                                                                     
candidate or group, for an example some of these funds can be used                                                              
to pay civil penalties, used to attend functions that are political                                                             
in nature, and maybe used to co-sponsor an event.  He said, "The                                                                
idea of turning it over to another candidate for example, we left                                                               
that prohibition in there."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL indicated there can be some discretion as to                                                             
penalties for late filing.  He said we can put those into statute                                                               
and a flag would come up on failure to disclose but that would                                                                  
begin the marking time for a penalty on late filing.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 361                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY applauded Representative Coghill's efforts                                                               
to have clear and open disclosure.  He said, if the campaign were                                                               
nine-months long, there would be 18 reports to a month, and a final                                                             
report and asked what about reports for the 24-hour period prior to                                                             
primary election, prior to the general election, what about                                                                     
contributions over a certain amount.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied that a 24-hour report was added                                                                  
because they thought things should be reported and done clearly and                                                             
that there should be a reporting procedure (the closer you get to                                                               
an election) so somebody can't come in with $100,000 in the last                                                                
three days.  He said that's the high degree of accountability he is                                                             
seeking.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY asked if the 24-hour report is tied to a                                                                 
specific amount.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied anything over $250.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 389                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY asked if the Division of Elections would be                                                              
able to input all the information because it will require a great                                                               
amount of time if it's faxed.  He also mentioned someone in a                                                                   
candidate's office can input that information and can follow up                                                                 
with a hard-copy with the required signature.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said he is open for suggestions on how to                                                                
give incentives to do that.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES suggested that if they can't get it on the Internet,                                                                
they would have to send a check with it.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL added when you obtain anything from the                                                                  
Division of Elections, you pay for the hard-file copy.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 405                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY emphasized that it would probably make it                                                                
easier for the Division of Elections (time-wise and perhaps                                                                     
cost-wise) however, there will be the cost in setting that program                                                              
up.  He said the candidates may also attach reports to forms that                                                               
are already on-line, however, a candidate might not have that                                                                   
expertise or might not have that availability.  Therefore, they'll                                                              
have to send the hard-copy with the required signature attached to                                                              
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said, "I understand that, and in pulling                                                                 
APOC their responsibility and put it into the Division of Elections                                                             
it was my understanding that we would have to have some of the                                                                  
staff people from the Division of APOC right now."  He noted his                                                                
reluctance to put it in the Division of Elections was because of                                                                
the workload, however, his emphasis is to make full open disclosure                                                             
get to the populace quickly.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL mentioned another issue that was brought to                                                              
his attention is the integrity of the election process being tied                                                               
to the campaign process.  He said he believes there are five                                                                    
regional offices in the Division of Elections which would serve the                                                             
populace well as a reporting place and that he thought of having an                                                             
APOC center (Alaska Public Offices Center) within the Division of                                                               
Elections (in a separate office) because they're not going to be                                                                
the police action so much as the administrative action.  He further                                                             
noted that once they get to a certain civil penalty, they can fine                                                              
up to so many late days and may report it to the district attorney,                                                             
and then a court action happens whether it's civil or criminal.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 463                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN doesn't think "John Q. Public" is going to care                                                             
months ahead of an election on how much money a candidate is                                                                    
raising every two weeks because that information more important                                                                 
closer to an election.  He suggested reporting would start every                                                                
two months, maybe narrow it down to every month, and then every two                                                             
weeks.  Another concern of his is that it's narrowed down the                                                                   
influence to the wealthy few, through companies and through higher                                                              
paid employees who have more influence than others.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he is also concerned with "no limits."                                                                 
For example, a business which is affected by a state decision can                                                               
contribute to up to $100,000 to a candidate who has a leadership                                                                
position or influential committee chairmanship, and they're going                                                               
to get their issues through.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied, human nature being what it is (and                                                              
rich people being able to manipulate) they can do that now.  He                                                                 
added that the system also currently allows for the pooling of                                                                  
money and that just becomes a little more burdensome and as far as                                                              
taking the limits off, let the people be the judges.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 573                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER said he didn't know if that's all that bad                                                              
because he has concerns with APOC.  His concern is that he doesn't                                                              
know if it's getting any simpler and confirmed that the proposed                                                                
notion is that the candidates will simply have full disclosure                                                                  
judged by the electorate and fewer regulations.  He asked if there                                                              
are additions to that.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied the basic philosophy is that the                                                                 
state becomes the judge of the matter rather than a general                                                                     
electorate and that Alaska should have an open disclosure so the                                                                
people can see that rather than the government first.  He said he                                                               
also believes the electorate should regulate the candidate rather                                                               
than the government.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER said he will need time to go through the                                                                
working draft to understand it [49 pages].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 689                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA pointed out APOC had glitches with their                                                                
software last year.  And, as Representative Smalley mentioned, if                                                               
you could have on-line filing that might be a good idea.  She said                                                              
she believes it would helpful if all the information between APOC                                                               
and the Division of Elections can be coordinated into a guidebook                                                               
which goes 1, 2, 3, because there are cross references.  She also                                                               
emphasized that they will have to have increased staff because APOC                                                             
is so bare-boned that they can hardly keep up with their work.                                                                  
Representative Kerttula also suggested training be offered, or                                                                  
maybe even required before a candidate can run because it's a whole                                                             
new process.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA is concerned about completely lifting the                                                               
amount and about all the reports that would be required.  She said                                                              
she thinks it would find to be too onerous because a candidate                                                                  
couldn't keep up with that if they're in an intense race - unless                                                               
you do something like the on-line filing.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 734                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said the reports last year didn't necessarily follow                                                                
accounting principals and they worked well.  The particular problem                                                             
was when you counted in non-cash and cash.  She indicated the final                                                             
page was the most difficult and being an accountant didn't help.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL agrees on-line filing is going to be an                                                                  
important part of this and if they had to keep double-records and                                                               
everything had to be handled 15 times it could become a burden.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES asked if obligation liability is included in HB 179                                                                 
because it was brought to her attention that people committed to                                                                
television advertising near the end of the campaign and didn't pay                                                              
for that until after the election.  In other words, if the                                                                      
obligations aren't there, people could do things that people                                                                    
wouldn't be aware of.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 783                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said he doesn't know if he addressed the                                                                 
obligation.  He further stated that he thinks if the model is based                                                             
on computer input the workload would go down some, there is going                                                               
to be a monitoring process and a degree of administration and each                                                              
region of the Division of Elections will have to make sure that it                                                              
is monitored.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY said he echoes Representative Kerttula's                                                                 
comments and agrees with Representative Ogan's comments regarding                                                               
the frequency of reporting.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-33, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY continued.  "Then during the 22 session                                                                  
we're basically in limbo do we continue filing because we have in                                                               
fact begun a campaign even though we have no activity, there's                                                                  
another 10."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied if you had no activity, then it                                                                  
wouldn't be much of a report.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY said it's still going into the Division of                                                               
Elections, it's still adding up.  The election-year swings in,                                                                  
seven more months, 14 more reports plus an end-of-the-year report,                                                              
24-hour filing, plus, plus, plus.  He further stated, "My thought                                                               
was perhaps during the off-election year, every two months - an                                                                 
end-of-the-year report, during the session and end of the session,                                                              
perhaps report that there was no activity, and then during the                                                                  
actual election year (June through November) monthly with the                                                                   
14-day filing prior to the primary, prior to the general and the                                                                
end-of-the-year report.  And again that's a lot fewer but it's                                                                  
still very very frequent as far as disclosure, the only people that                                                             
are really going to make much about the disclosure of information                                                               
are your opponent - that's where it's going to go to the public is                                                              
from your opponent and/or the press.  But it's still frequent, I                                                                
think enough that it's going to keep the public active and                                                                      
involved.  I wonder about myriad of 38 plus reports."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 083                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said it's just another burden and not to                                                                    
mention the significant cost associated with staff to make sure                                                                 
those reports are filed.  There are more things to get tripped up                                                               
on, and more chances of becoming criminals for not filing.  He                                                                  
reiterated that he doesn't see a need for that much reporting,                                                                  
especially early on.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said when the reports become available to the public,                                                               
if they don't like it, they can complain and have it audited.  She                                                              
further explained the reports aren't necessarily automatically                                                                  
audited and indicated that it isn't that much more work to do.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL stated reporting is a matter of the burden                                                               
of responsibility and that burden needs to be placed on the                                                                     
candidate rather than the state, and disclosure is for the general                                                              
populace it's not for a government agency.  He reiterated that HB
179 is meant for open disclosure and a degree of freedom (in the                                                                
ability to receive contributions) and the tradeoff is a                                                                         
responsibility that goes with that accountability and that needs to                                                             
be more out in the open.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 183                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said she personally has a problem with the Division of                                                              
Elections monitoring these things only because the APOC is supposed                                                             
to be more nonpartisan (or if it is bipartisan) and the Division of                                                             
Elections is not.  She mentioned the person who manages the                                                                     
division was once a political candidate.  So putting a lot of that                                                              
information in the hands of the Division of Elections is expanding                                                              
the division to an area that it probably shouldn't be involved in.                                                              
She said she agrees that we have given too much responsibility to                                                               
the APOC and that they have been overworked and it's not going to                                                               
get any better because the legislature never takes away rules, we                                                               
only add more by giving them huge challenges because we don't think                                                             
in the same terms as they have to work.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said she can't believe that there won't be a group who                                                              
is sort of insulated from politics.  She further stated, "Now when                                                              
you start making limits on the money, even that, if there is a                                                                  
reporting of too much money spent, or money spent in a wrong way,                                                               
if the public would complain ... that they're not subject to review                                                             
this, but the public is and they only respond to whatever the                                                                   
direction is."  She said HB 179 would simplify it and every change                                                              
has to have a really good understanding and has to work.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 277                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL noted that he will talk to the effected                                                                  
departments.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[SSHB 179 was held for further consideration].                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HJR 14-NATIONAL MUSEUM WOMEN'S HISTORY AK COUNCI                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES asked to waive SSHJR 14, Relating to the National                                                                   
Museum of Women's History and the National Museum of Women's                                                                    
History Alaska Council, sponsored by Representative Phillips.  She                                                              
said she believes it is not a controversial bill and asked if there                                                             
was any objection.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 319                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:51 a.m.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects