Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/29/1999 08:07 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.