Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/03/2001 08:05 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 3, 2001                                                                                          
                           8:05 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative John Coghill, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Jeannette James                                                                                                  
Representative Hugh Fate                                                                                                        
Representative Gary Stevens                                                                                                     
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Joe Hayes                                                                                                        
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 198                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to a  post-retirement  pension adjustment  and                                                               
cost-of-living  allowance for  persons  receiving benefits  under                                                               
the  Elected Public  Officers Retirement  System; and  increasing                                                               
the compensation of the governor."                                                                                              
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 193                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the primary election; and providing for an                                                                  
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 193(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 103(FIN)                                                                                                 
"An Act relating to election campaigns and legislative ethics."                                                                 
     - MOVED CSSB 103(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 93(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the Arctic Winter Games Team Alaska trust;                                                                  
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     - MOVED CSSB 93(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
HOUSE BILL NO. 167                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to license plates for Alaska National Guard                                                                    
personnel and for antique motor vehicles; relating to gold rush                                                                 
license plates; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
HOUSE BILL NO. 28                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the location of legislative sessions; and                                                                   
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
BILL: HB 198                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:GOV SALARY; PUB OFFICERS RETIREMENT COLA                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)HUDSON                                                                                             
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/19/01     0649       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/19/01     0649       (H)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
03/19/01     0649       (H)        REFERRED TO STATE AFFAIRS                                                                    
04/03/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
BILL: HB 193                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:MODIFIED BLANKET PRIMARY ELECTION                                                                                   
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF THE                                                                                               
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/19/01     0647       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/19/01     0647       (H)        STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                
03/19/01     0647       (H)        FN1: (GOV)                                                                                   
03/19/01     0647       (H)        GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                
04/03/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
BILL: SB 103                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/20/01     0432       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
02/20/01     0432       (S)        STA, JUD                                                                                     
02/22/01                (S)        STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
02/22/01                (S)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
02/27/01                (S)        STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
02/27/01                (S)        Moved CS(STA) Out of                                                                         
02/28/01     0534       (S)        STA RPT CS 2DP 3NR NEW TITLE                                                                 
02/28/01     0534       (S)        DP: THERRIAULT, HALFORD; NR:                                                                 
02/28/01     0534       (S)        PEARCE, DAVIS                                                                                
02/28/01     0534       (S)        FN1: (ADM)                                                                                   
03/09/01                (S)        JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
03/12/01                (S)        JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
03/12/01                (S)        Moved CS(JUD) Out of                                                                         
03/13/01     0634       (S)        JUD RPT CS 2DP 1DNP 1NR NEW                                                                  
03/13/01     0635       (S)        DP: TAYLOR, COWDERY; DNP:                                                                    
03/13/01     0635       (S)        NR: THERRIAULT                                                                               
03/13/01     0635       (S)        FN1: (ADM)                                                                                   
03/13/01     0635       (S)        FIN REFERRAL ADDED AFTER JUD                                                                 
03/22/01                (S)        FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                                                                
03/23/01     0783       (S)        FIN RPT CS 3DP 2NR NEW TITLE                                                                 
03/23/01     0783       (S)        DP: DONLEY, KELLY, LEMAN;                                                                    
03/23/01     0783       (S)        NR: HOFFMAN, OLSON                                                                           
03/23/01     0783       (S)        FN2: (ADM)                                                                                   
03/23/01                (S)        FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                                                                
03/23/01                (S)        MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                  
03/28/01                (S)        RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP                                                                   
03/29/01     0858       (S)        RULES TO CALENDAR 2OR 3/29/01                                                                
03/29/01     0863       (S)        READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                         
03/29/01     0863       (S)        FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                                                                  
03/29/01     0863       (S)        ADVANCED TO THIRD READING                                                                    
                                   UNAN CONSENT                                                                                 
03/29/01     0863       (S)        READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB
03/29/01     0864       (S)        PASSED Y17 N2 A1                                                                             
03/29/01     0867       (S)        TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                           
03/29/01     0867       (S)        VERSION: CSSB 103(FIN)                                                                       
03/30/01     0782       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/30/01     0782       (H)        STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                
04/03/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
BILL: SB 93                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE:ARCTIC WINTER GAMES TEAM ALASKA TRUST                                                                               
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) PHILLIPS                                                                                                 
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/15/01     0386       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
02/15/01     0386       (S)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
02/20/01                (S)        STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
02/20/01                (S)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
02/21/01     0451       (S)        STA RPT 1DP 3NR 1DP/AM                                                                       
02/21/01     0451       (S)        NR: THERRIAULT, PEARCE,                                                                      
02/21/01     0451       (S)        DP/AM: HALFORD; DP: PHILLIPS                                                                 
02/21/01     0451       (S)        FN1: ZERO(REV)                                                                               
02/28/01                (S)        FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                                                                
02/28/01                (S)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
03/13/01                (S)        FIN AT 9:45 AM SENATE FINANCE                                                                
03/13/01                (S)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/13/01                (S)        MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                  
03/14/01     0654       (S)        FIN RPT CS FORTHCOMING 5DP                                                                   
03/14/01     0654       (S)        DP: DONLEY, AUSTERMAN, OLSON,                                                                
03/14/01     0654       (S)        LEMAN; NR: KELLY, HOFFMAN,                                                                   
03/14/01     0655       (S)        FN1: ZERO(REV)                                                                               
03/15/01     0673       (S)        CS RECEIVED SAME TITLE                                                                       
03/16/01     0693       (S)        RULES TO CALENDAR 3/16/01                                                                    
03/16/01     0694       (S)        READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                         
03/16/01     0694       (S)        FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                                                                  
03/16/01     0694       (S)        ADVANCED TO THIRD READING                                                                    
                                   UNAN CONSENT                                                                                 
03/16/01     0694       (S)        READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB
03/16/01     0695       (S)        PASSED Y15 N1 E3 A1                                                                          
03/16/01     0695       (S)        EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS                                                                    
03/16/01     0698       (S)        TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                           
03/16/01     0698       (S)        VERSION: CSSB 93(FIN)                                                                        
03/16/01                (S)        RLS AT 11:30 AM FAHRENKAMP                                                                   
03/16/01                (S)        MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                  
03/19/01     0645       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/19/01     0645       (H)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
04/03/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE BILL HUDSON                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 502                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as sponsor of HB 198.                                                                            
FORMER GOVERNOR JAY HAMMOND                                                                                                     
Lake Clark Lodge                                                                                                                
Port Alsworth, Alaska 99653                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 198.                                                                            
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR FRAN ULMER                                                                                                  
P.O. Box 110015                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0015                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 193.                                                                                       
AVRUM GROSS, Chair                                                                                                              
Primary Election Task Force                                                                                                     
424 North Franklin Street                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 193.                                                                                       
SARAH FELIX, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                         
Governmental Affairs Section                                                                                                    
Civil Division (Juneau)                                                                                                         
Department of Law                                                                                                               
P.O. Box 110300                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided legal information related to HB
SENATOR GENE THERRIAULT                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 121                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as sponsor of SB 103.                                                                            
SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 103                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as sponsor of SB 93.                                                                             
SUSIE BARNETT, Administrator                                                                                                    
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
P.O. Box 101468                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska 99510-1468                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 103.                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 01-31, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  JOHN  COGHILL  called the  House  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   8:05  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Coghill, Fate, Stevens, Wilson,  Crawford, and Hayes were present                                                               
at  the call  to  order.   Representative  James  arrived as  the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
HB 198-GOV SALARY; PUB OFFICERS RETIREMENT COLA                                                                               
Number 0112                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 198,  "An Act  relating to  a post-retirement                                                               
pension  adjustment  and  cost-of-living  allowance  for  persons                                                               
receiving benefits  under the Elected Public  Officers Retirement                                                               
System; and increasing the compensation of the governor."                                                                       
Number 0149                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  BILL  HUDSON,   Alaska  State  Legislature,  came                                                               
forward  to  testify as  sponsor  of  HB 198.    He  said HB  198                                                               
corrects  a  long-standing  inequity in  the  retirement  benefit                                                               
calculations for a group of  public employees who retired between                                                               
January  1 and  October 14,  1976.   Every other  person who  has                                                               
retired under the Public Employees  Retirement System or Teachers                                                               
Retirement  system  has  received  an automatic  cost  of  living                                                               
adjustment  in retirement  benefits based  on the  consumer price                                                               
index.   But  there are  about 35  people who  retired under  the                                                               
Elected Public Officers Retirement  System (EPORS) who have never                                                               
received  a single  cost of  living increase,  and Representative                                                               
Hudson said that  needs to be corrected.   "It's basic fairness,"                                                               
he said.  Now, an increase of  about 40 percent is needed to make                                                               
up the difference.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON  said the second  aspect of the bill  is to                                                               
increase  the  governor's salary,  which  has  not changed  since                                                               
1983, when it was increased to  $81,648.  The intent at that time                                                               
was  to  set  the  governor's  salary at  a  Range  30,  Step  F.                                                               
However, when the legislature set  the dollar amount, that amount                                                               
took precedence  over the salary  schedule.  Again, he  said, the                                                               
issue is  basic fairness.   He noted  that the  governor's annual                                                               
salary now is  less than that paid to his  chief of staff, deputy                                                               
chief  of  staff,  legislative   director,  or  to  a  department                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL  indicated his intention  to hear the  testimony of                                                               
former Governor Jay Hammond that day  and then to hold HB 198 for                                                               
further hearing and discussion on another day.                                                                                  
Number 0710                                                                                                                     
FORMER GOVERNOR  JAY HAMMOND came  forward to testify  in support                                                               
of  HB 198.   He  said he  thinks  a good  case can  be made  for                                                               
correcting what  has been largely  an oversight.  There  has been                                                               
enormous erosion in  the value of the retirement  benefits he and                                                               
others receive.   He  cited a  recent AARP  report that  over the                                                               
past 17  years, the price of  goods bought by the  general public                                                               
rose  73.9 percent  while the  price of  goods bought  by seniors                                                               
rose 85.1  percent.  During that  entire time, there has  been no                                                               
change  in retirement  income for  those who,  like him,  retired                                                               
under  EPORS.   His  retirement  salary,  worth $80,000  when  he                                                               
retired,  is  now   worth  $32,000  in  today's   dollars.    His                                                               
retirement package provides a reduced  benefit to his wife on his                                                               
demise.    Her  retirement  income now  would  be  worth  roughly                                                               
$6,000, and as she could outlive  him by 10-20 years, that income                                                               
will be worth "virtually nothing."                                                                                              
GOVERNOR  HAMMOND  explained  that   the  problem  is  compounded                                                               
because the  Elected Public Officials' Retirement  System (EPORS)                                                               
was structured  on a formula  that adjusted retirement  income in                                                               
relation  to  the  current salary  for  the  retiree's  position.                                                               
Since  there  has been  virtually  no  change in  the  governor's                                                               
salary  ...  since 1978,  the  governor's  retirement income  has                                                               
eroded much  more than that paid  to those who retired  under the                                                               
Public Employees'  Retirement System (PERS).   The PERS employees                                                               
receive not only  the cost of living increments  that other state                                                               
employees  receive,  but  also  a   10  percent  cost  of  living                                                               
differential for living in Alaska.                                                                                              
GOVERNOR  HAMMOND  acknowledged  that  for  any  increase  to  be                                                               
palatable  to the  public, it  has to  be at  reasonable expense,                                                               
equitable, and politically  acceptable.  He did  not know exactly                                                               
what  the cost  might be,  but said  he thought  it could  be cut                                                               
substantially  if the  legislature were  to limit  eligibility to                                                               
those who  are at  least 70 years  old or to  those who  have not                                                               
received a cost-of-living  adjustment for at least 10  years.  He                                                               
thought  most people  would  readily accept  the  fact that  some                                                               
adjustment might  be appropriate for anybody  who hasn't received                                                               
a cost of living increase in 10 years.                                                                                          
GOVERNOR  HAMMOND  said  he  frankly thinks  there  ought  to  be                                                               
adjustments across the board in  regard to "all sorts of things,"                                                               
although HB 198 probably wouldn't  be the appropriate vehicle for                                                               
doing all of it. He noted  that there are three co-equal branches                                                               
of state government.   "You would think, then, that  the heads of                                                               
those  co-equal  branches  would be  similarly  compensated,"  he                                                               
observed.   Yet  the basic  judge's salary  is $112,000,  and "it                                                               
seems  to me  at  the  very minimum  the  governor  ought to  get                                                               
roughly  the  same  as  a  judge,"  he  said.    He  also  thinks                                                               
legislators,  who serve  one-third  of the  year,  ought to  have                                                               
their salaries boosted to one-third of $112,000.                                                                                
GOVERNOR  HAMMOND  said  he  believes it  would  be  possible  to                                                               
increase the governor's  salary in the manner proposed  by HB 198                                                               
without it costing the state one  nickel.  "All you would have to                                                               
do is say, all right, the  governor's salary goes to $110,000 [as                                                               
per HB 198] provided, however,  we're going to charge him $30,000                                                               
for room and  board and the use  of a free vehicle."   That would                                                               
not increase the impact on the state  budget at all, he said.  He                                                               
also suggested  adjusting the legislative budget  so a legislator                                                               
could take the  $6,000 expense accounts as an addition  to his or                                                               
her salary.  The same might  be done with the per diem allowance,                                                               
which  some people  are reluctant  to  draw.   "As a  consequence                                                               
you've got an inequity among  how you people are compensated," he                                                               
noted.   "I think to remove  some of these inequities  and create                                                               
something  that treats  everybody  essentially the  same is  well                                                               
warranted," he said.   "And I think it would  be well-accepted by                                                               
the public."  However, he said, he  did not want to clutter up HB
198 by putting all those elements into it.                                                                                      
GOVERNOR HAMMOND  said most  people think  the governor  makes at                                                               
least $100,000  or $120,000,  and "they're  appalled to  find out                                                               
that  it's much  less than  hundreds if  not thousands  of public                                                               
employees," he  said.  "Anything you  can do to remedy  this will                                                               
be gratefully appreciated by all involved."                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL said according to  Representative Hudson, there are                                                               
35 people who would be affected by HB 198.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON expressed  hope that HB 198  could be moved                                                               
forward  soon,  noting  that  there   are  less  than  six  weeks                                                               
remaining in the session.                                                                                                       
CHAIR COGHILL suspended the hearing and testimony on HB 198.                                                                    
HB 193 - MODIFIED BLANKET PRIMARY ELECTION                                                                                    
Number 1527                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 193,  "An Act relating  to the  primary election;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."  He declared a brief at-                                                                  
ease to allow  people to shake hands with Governor  Hammond.  The                                                               
meeting resumed three minutes later.                                                                                            
Number 1574                                                                                                                     
LIEUTENANT  GOVERNOR FRAN  ULMER came  forward to  testify on  HB
193.    She began  by  explaining  why legislation  is  required.                                                               
Alaska, like  Washington and California, had  a "blanket primary"                                                               
system,  one in  which  all  of the  candidates  for  all of  the                                                               
parties  appear on  a  single ballot  and a  voter  can pick  and                                                               
choose among them.  Last  summer, the United States Supreme Court                                                               
in a California case ruled that  any state with a blanket primary                                                               
must modify it  if any of the political parties  objected to non-                                                               
party members voting  on their candidates.   The Republican Party                                                               
of  Alaska   requested  that  only  Republicans   and  undeclared                                                               
nonpartisans  be allowed  to  vote on  their  candidates, so  the                                                               
lieutenant   governor    last   summer    promulgated   emergency                                                               
regulations  to   govern  the  2000  primary   election.    Those                                                               
emergency  regulations  went out  of  existence  as soon  as  the                                                               
primary  election  was  over, creating  a  need  for  legislative                                                               
action to decide  how Alaska's primary system is to  operate.  In                                                               
order to make a recommendation  to the legislature, she created a                                                               
task  force made  up  of four  former  lieutenant governors,  two                                                               
former attorneys general,  and a representative of  the League of                                                               
Women  Voters.   That  group  arrived  at a  unanimous  consensus                                                               
position,  on  which  HB  193  is based.    Avrum  Gross,  former                                                               
attorney general under  Governor Hammond, served as  chair of the                                                               
task force.                                                                                                                     
Number 1791                                                                                                                     
AVRUM GROSS, Chair, Primary Election  Task Force, came forward to                                                               
testify.    He  observed  that   the  committee  members  brought                                                               
together  about 400  years  of political  experience.   The  task                                                               
force  was   strictly  nonpartisan.    It   proceeded  under  the                                                               
assumption that it  had to come up with  something because Alaska                                                               
no longer  has a  law governing  primary elections  and something                                                               
has  to   be  put  in  place.     The  task  force   first  heard                                                               
presentations from the state, then  held public hearings in which                                                               
all major  and minor  parties in Alaska  participated.   The task                                                               
force then drafted a law with which all its members agreed.                                                                     
MR.  GROSS said  the  basic  principal used  in  drafting was  to                                                               
change the law as little as  possible from what had existed prior                                                               
to the  Jones case.   None of the  parties objected to  a blanket                                                               
primary so  long as they  could limit  their primary if  they saw                                                               
fit.  The task force decided  that when a party [for example, the                                                               
Republican Party]  wished to limit participation  in its primary,                                                               
all registered  Republicans would receive  a ballot with  all the                                                               
candidates  on  it.    Everyone  else would  get  a  ballot  with                                                               
everybody  on  it except  Republicans,  so  the Republican  Party                                                               
would  be  able   to  limit  participation  in   its  primary  to                                                               
registered Republicans                                                                                                          
MR. GROSS said  the task force also concluded  that party members                                                               
could  still vote  for candidates  in  other parties  so long  as                                                               
those parties allowed  it.  In doing so, the  task force retained                                                               
the  concept  of  a  blanket  primary  unless  that  primary  was                                                               
narrowed by  party choices.   That is  consistent with  the Jones                                                               
case and with Alaska's past practice.                                                                                           
Number 2067                                                                                                                     
MR.  GROSS explained  that  the  committee substitute  approaches                                                               
from a  different direction.  The CS starts  off with  all closed                                                               
primaries.   The  only  people  who will  get  a party's  primary                                                               
ballot will be  registered members of that party.   But any party                                                               
can,  through its  own  party  rules, open  its  primary to  more                                                               
people.   The  task  force  took the  other  approach because  it                                                               
thought the  majority of Alaskans  would favor a  blanket primary                                                               
system insofar as possible.                                                                                                     
Number 2186                                                                                                                     
MR. GROSS said  the task force took testimony and  set a deadline                                                               
by which the  parties must be decide who is  going to participate                                                               
in  their   primaries.  September  of  the   preceding  year  was                                                               
unanimously accepted.   The task force also  decided the deadline                                                               
for registration in a party would  be 30 days before the election                                                               
[the last day on which people can register to vote].                                                                            
Number 2301                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  asked Mr. Gross  why he had  identified the                                                               
task force as nonpartisan.                                                                                                      
MR. GROSS  said he  wanted the committee  to understand  that the                                                               
proposal  [HB  193]  had  not  come  from  any  particular  party                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES interpreted that to  mean the task force had                                                               
come  at the  task from  an administrative  position, not  from a                                                               
party position.                                                                                                                 
MR. GROSS affirmed that was correct.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the  outcome reflected that perspective                                                               
as opposed to what it might  have been if determined by political                                                               
parties.  She asked  if a person who is not  a party member could                                                               
file for office.                                                                                                                
MR. GROSS said such a person could do so by petition.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES surmised  that if  more than  one candidate                                                               
did so,  they would not  compete in the  primary.  It  appears to                                                               
her that primaries  are specifically for parties  to choose their                                                               
candidates,  and  if  there  were   not  parties  choosing  their                                                               
candidates, there would be no need for a primary.                                                                               
MR. GROSS thought that was probably true.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted that people  who are not party members                                                               
rarely run  for public  office and that  half of  Alaska's voters                                                               
are not party  members.  She thinks the state  is missing a large                                                               
group of folks who might be  good office holders and have a good,                                                               
balanced approach.   "As long  as we  continue to make  the party                                                               
worth nothing,  we are  going to  have more  and more  people who                                                               
never run for election," she said.                                                                                              
Number 2495                                                                                                                     
MR.  GROSS  said  the task  force  had  discussed  Representative                                                               
James' concern and came to the  conclusion that, "This in the end                                                               
will probably weaken parties more  than anything we can think of.                                                               
The  reason it  will  weaken parties  is  because [almost]  every                                                               
party that testified  ... indicated that it  would probably allow                                                               
independents to participate in its  primaries but would not allow                                                               
registered members  of other  parties to  participate."   He said                                                               
the result is  that the only people  who are going to  be able to                                                               
vote for all the candidates are  going to be independents.  Polls                                                               
show that the vast majority  of Alaska voters consider themselves                                                               
to be  independents, he  said.   The parties  have the  option of                                                               
closing  their primaries  to  all but  registered  members.   The                                                               
problem with that  is, "The more you close  your party's primary,                                                               
the purer your candidates become and  the less likely they are to                                                               
win  general elections  .  . .  . The  reason  that most  parties                                                               
welcome independents  into their parties is  because they realize                                                               
that at  some point or another  they're going to have  to get the                                                               
independents  to vote  for them  to win  a general  election," he                                                               
said.   Mr.  Gross pointed  out that  this could  result in  many                                                               
people leaving  parties.  So long  as parties are going  to allow                                                               
independents  to  participate  in  their process  and  not  allow                                                               
people from other  parties, then the only way a  citizen can vote                                                               
for everybody is to be an independent.                                                                                          
Number 2627                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL said  one of the reasons he brought  forward the CS                                                               
was to  give the parties a  choice rather than making  the choice                                                               
for them.                                                                                                                       
MR.  GROSS clarified  that  HB 193  allows  parties to  eliminate                                                               
independents from voting  in their primaries.   "You're coming at                                                               
it  by  saying you  start  with  parties  and  they have  to  add                                                               
independents.  We've started by  saying there's everybody and you                                                               
have to eliminate independents."                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  said, "I  think  that's  a public  perception  of                                                               
exclusion rather  than inclusion,  ... and that's  why I  came to                                                               
that policy call."                                                                                                              
Number 2652                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   STEVENS   observed   that  if   there   were   a                                                               
proliferation of  parties, the state could  end up with a  lot of                                                               
ballots.  He asked if that was going to be a problem.                                                                           
Number 2586                                                                                                                     
MR.  GROSS said  there are  now six  political parties  and there                                                               
could  be a  maximum of  six ballots,  one for  each party.   "By                                                               
insisting on a blanket primary  insofar as possible, what we were                                                               
saying  was that  the  party  can decide  who  can  vote for  its                                                               
candidates but it can't decide who  its members may vote for," he                                                               
Number 2755                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL  observed that there  is a cost involved  in having                                                               
parties exclude people from their ballots.                                                                                      
MR. GROSS agreed.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  expressed  concern that  there  are  six                                                               
parties now,  but no  restriction on the  number that  could come                                                               
into being.                                                                                                                     
MR. GROSS said  there is a limit;  a party needs to  have a three                                                               
percent vote in the prior gubernatorial election.                                                                               
CHAIR  COGHILL thought  the cost  would be  around $50,000  for a                                                               
party to exclude others under the task force plan.                                                                              
Number 2805                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS saw  the  proliferation of  parties as  a                                                               
real danger in the future.                                                                                                      
MR. GROSS  said one has  to start  with the premise  that parties                                                               
constitutionally have the right to  do this.  "There's nothing we                                                               
can do  about that.   The Supreme  Court has ruled.   So  if each                                                               
party has rules  about who may nominate its  candidates, some way                                                               
you're going to have to accommodate that."                                                                                      
CHAIR COGHILL  said the task force  tried to keep the  primary as                                                               
open as  possible, and he thinks  the policy call that  has to be                                                               
made "is whether we're doing it for exclusion for inclusion."                                                                   
Number 2872                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  asked if a nonpartisan  primary had been                                                               
MR.  GROSS said  it was  considered and  had a  lot of  appeal at                                                               
first.   Everyone who wanted  to run would  file and the  two top                                                               
vote-getters would  face one another  in a runoff,  regardless of                                                               
party.  Louisiana is  the only state that does it  that way.  The                                                               
problem with  it is that  the two  best candidates do  not emerge                                                               
from the  field, but when there  are 12 or 14  people running for                                                               
an  office, "a  dedicated group  of followers  is all  you really                                                               
need  to  make  it  into  the  finals,"  he  said.    "You  don't                                                               
necessarily get candidates who represent  the majority.  You tend                                                               
to  get very  well organized,  extreme groups."   The  task force                                                               
rejected the  idea of a  nonpartisan primary because it  does not                                                               
produce two  candidates who represent major,  differing points of                                                               
TAPE 01-31, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2948                                                                                                                     
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ULMER spoke to  the number of ballots.  Under                                                               
the CS, there  potentially would be six ballots, one  for each of                                                               
the  six recognized  parties.   Under  the  original bill,  there                                                               
potentially would  be seven  ballots.   The seventh  ballot would                                                               
include all  of the candidates from  all of the parties  and only                                                               
nonpartisan  voters  would get  it  [just  like the  old  blanket                                                               
primary  ballot],  assuming  that  all the  party  rules  allowed                                                               
nonpartisans  to  vote for  their  candidates.   Looking  at  the                                                               
fiscal difference between  the CS and the  original version, it's                                                               
really  just one  more ballot.   In  terms of  the public  policy                                                               
call, "it is really just a  question ... of your philosophy about                                                               
primaries," she said.  The  primary traditionally has been viewed                                                               
as the  parties' opportunity to  decide who their  nominees would                                                               
be.  It used to be done  by convention until most states chose to                                                               
open up the convention process to  a more democratic system.  She                                                               
said that  in states like  Alaska, where  over 50 percent  of the                                                               
voters register as undeclared or nonpartisan:                                                                                   
     It seems  like disenfranchising over 50  percent of the                                                                    
     voters ... in  the primary process may not  be the most                                                                    
     democratic  system.   That's the  tradeoff  here.   How                                                                    
     much do you  allow just the party to  determine its own                                                                    
     nominees  and  how  much   do  you  allow  independents                                                                    
     nonpartisans, undeclareds  to also participate  in that                                                                    
     party process?   And as long as the party  says we want                                                                    
     them  in,  it seems  to  me  we  ought to  allow  that.                                                                    
     Whether you set  it up as an opt-in or  opt-out as long                                                                    
     as the  party rules  control, it's a  shade of  gray, I                                                                    
     guess.   The shade  of gray that  the task  force chose                                                                    
     was the shade of gray  of saying assume everybody's in,                                                                    
     reflecting a  longstanding tradition  in Alaska  of the                                                                    
     blanket primary.   What the task force tried  to so was                                                                    
     stay as close to existing  law only change it enough to                                                                    
     accommodate the  Jones decision as opposed  to changing                                                                    
     it more dramatically.                                                                                                      
Number 2790                                                                                                                     
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ULMER  added that the task  force had settled                                                               
on the September deadline for  notifying the state of party rules                                                               
because the  parties said they would  know by May or  June at the                                                               
latest what  those rules  were going to  be, and  September gives                                                               
the Division of  Elections sufficient time to  make the necessary                                                               
changes on ballots and programming.                                                                                             
Number 2722                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  asked if  under  the  original bill,  the                                                               
Republicans were the only ones  who close their primary, how many                                                               
ballots there would be.                                                                                                         
LIEUTENANT  GOVERNOR ULMER  said two.  Republicans, independents,                                                               
and nonpartisans would  get one ballot [with everyone  on it] and                                                               
everybody  else  would  get  the   blanket  ballot  [listing  all                                                               
candidates except  Republicans].  The  task force thought  it was                                                               
better to  err on the side  of allowing individuals the  right to                                                               
vote to the fullest extent possible.                                                                                            
Number 2600                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES  wondered why the  state pays for  a primary                                                               
if it is a  function of the parties.  He thinks  if a party wants                                                               
to exclude a large number of  voters from its process, that party                                                               
should pay for its primary election.                                                                                            
LIEUTENANT  GOVERNOR  ULMER  explained  that  the  state  has  an                                                               
interest  in fair  and open  elections  at both  the primary  and                                                               
general  stage.   In  general,  states  moved from  a  convention                                                               
system, which  was totally  controlled by  parties, to  a primary                                                               
system  because of  the  notion that  opening  up the  nomination                                                               
process  opens up  the  democratic election  process.   She  said                                                               
Sarah Felix, Assistant Attorney  General, could describe cases in                                                               
other states that have raised related questions.                                                                                
Number 2487                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL passed the gavel to Representative Fate.                                                                          
Number 2446                                                                                                                     
SARAH  FELIX, Assistant  Attorney  General, Governmental  Affairs                                                               
Section,  Civil  Division  (Juneau),   Department  of  Law,  came                                                               
forward to  testify.  She explained  that Alaska would not  be on                                                               
very firm ground  if it were to require the  political parties to                                                               
pay  for the  primary  elections.   There  have  been two  United                                                               
States  Supreme  Court opinions  and  one  federal appeals  court                                                               
decision  out of  the Eighth  Circuit that  have addressed  these                                                               
issues.   The Supreme  Court opinions are  not directly  on point                                                               
but suggest how the Supreme Court would address this issue.                                                                     
MS.  FELIX said  in one  case, Texas  had tried  to impose  large                                                               
filing fees  on candidates.   The court struck that  down, saying                                                               
it unduly burdened candidates' rights  of freedom of association.                                                               
That ruling  was similar to  the one  in the California  v. Jones                                                             
case,  which said  if  a  state makes  it  very  difficult for  a                                                               
political  party  to participate  in  a  primary, that  state  is                                                               
burdening their First Amendment  associational rights.  Ms. Felix                                                               
thinks making  a party  pay for a  primary election  would impose                                                               
that kind of burden.                                                                                                            
MS.  FELIX  said  the  Eight  Circuit  Court  case,  Faulkner  v.                                                             
Arkansas,  the state  had established  a system  that required  a                                                             
primary and  required the political parties  to pay for it.   The                                                               
Eighth Circuit  Court struck that  down.   One of the  parties in                                                               
that case had been unable to  afford a primary election, so there                                                               
wasn't a  primary for that  party and it essentially  dropped out                                                               
of the general  election.  "Given how the U.S.  Supreme Court has                                                               
been  viewing the  primary system  and given  how they  have been                                                               
affording political  parties very  broad rights," if  Alaska were                                                               
to impose that kind of a  system, Ms. Felix doubted that it would                                                               
Number 2497                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES  said he understood the  state's interest in                                                               
a general  election, but not  in the  primary election if  is the                                                               
method by which parties nominate  their candidates.  He thought a                                                               
party should be  able to make its  own rules and use  a caucus or                                                               
any other method  to determine its candidates.   The state should                                                               
not have  any involvement in that,  but would come back  into the                                                               
process for  the general election  where it does have  a pressing                                                               
Number 2487                                                                                                                     
ACTING CHAIR FATE returned the gavel to Chair Coghill.                                                                          
MS. FELIX  said Representative  Hayes is  correct that  the state                                                               
need  not have  a primary  election.   The task  force considered                                                               
that option,  but chose  to hold a  primary because  they thought                                                               
doing so  was more inclusive.   The  option is a  policy question                                                               
open to the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                             
CHAIR COGHILL noted that HB 193  is to be considered by the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing  Committee.   He then  brought forward  the CS                                                               
for HB 193.                                                                                                                     
Number 2269                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  moved to adopt  the proposed CS for  HB 193                                                               
[Version  C dated  3/28/01] as  the working  document before  the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES objected, saying that  if Alaska is going to                                                               
have a primary  system, he wants to make it  as open as possible.                                                               
He understands  the CS to say  that voters would have  to declare                                                               
their party affiliation 30 days before the primary.                                                                             
CHAIR COGHILL  said that  would be  true in  either version.   He                                                               
thought  the   CS  was  closer   to  what   Representative  Hayes                                                               
preferred.  It says the  primaries are presumed closed until they                                                               
are opened by the parties.   By contrast, the original task force                                                               
version is that  the primaries are open  unless somebody excluded                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES said  what the  CS  is saying  that in  the                                                               
Republican closed  primary, there would be  Republican candidates                                                               
and everybody else.                                                                                                             
CHAIR COGHILL said it would be  up to the party to include people                                                               
beyond Republicans  if they so chose,  and the CS gives  them the                                                               
option to do that.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES  said  he  is  more  comfortable  with  the                                                               
original HB  193 because he  thinks it more closely  matches what                                                               
he heard from the public.                                                                                                       
CHAIR COGHILL said that was a  point well taken; that there is no                                                               
doubt that this is a policy call.                                                                                               
Number 2099                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON recalled  that in both the  original HB 193                                                               
and  the CS,  voters had  to register  30 days  in advance  of an                                                               
election.   She  asked the  lieutenant  governor if  in the  last                                                               
election  [in   which  voters  were   allowed  to   change  their                                                               
registration  up  to and  including  election  day], many  people                                                               
LIEUTENANT  GOVERNOR ULMER  said  a few  had  switched, but  that                                                               
there had not been a huge shift.                                                                                                
Number 2027                                                                                                                     
A roll call vote on the motion  to adopt Version C as the working                                                               
document  was  taken.    Representatives  Fate,  James,  Stevens,                                                               
Wilson, and Coghill voted for  CSHB 193. Representatives Crawford                                                               
and  Hayes voted  against  CSHB  193.   Therefore,  CSHB 193  was                                                               
before the committee by a vote of 5 to 2.                                                                                       
Number 1933                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON moved  conceptual  Amendment  1 to  change                                                               
CSHB 193  in accordance  with the  lieutenant governor's  and the                                                               
task force's recommendation:                                                                                                    
     Page 2, line 5,                                                                                                            
          Delete "November 1"                                                                                                   
          Insert "September 1".                                                                                                 
There being no  objection, it was so ordered and  Amendment 1 was                                                               
Number 1888                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES stated  for  the record  that she  strongly                                                               
believes in  the two-party system. Her  personal preference would                                                               
be for  only party people to  vote for party candidates.  If that                                                               
were  the case,  she thinks  a lot  of unaffiliated  voters would                                                               
join the parties, and that would please  her a lot.  She said she                                                               
supports  the   CS  "mostly  because  it   makes  parties,  makes                                                               
positions, and the other way doesn't necessarily."                                                                              
Number 1613                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD said:                                                                                                   
     I believe the  direction we're heading is  to close the                                                                    
     primary,  to  make  people become  more  partisan.    I                                                                    
     believe that  it's going to  take the  political center                                                                    
     away.    I  believe  that  we're  going  to  have  more                                                                    
     candidates from  the radical right or  the radical left                                                                    
     and I  believe that  it's the  wrong direction  to take                                                                    
     Alaska politics  because I believe  that the  center is                                                                    
     much more inclusive.                                                                                                       
Number 1568                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS sought  clarification  of  the number  of                                                               
ballots that  would be possible under  the CS and wanted  to know                                                               
if  it  changes the  requirement  that  voters register  30  days                                                               
before the election.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  COGHILL said  the  CS still  includes  the requirement  to                                                               
register  30 days  in  advance and,  as  the lieutenant  governor                                                               
said, the  CS probably  has one  less ballot  than what  would be                                                               
required under the original  HB 193.  He did not  like the air of                                                               
exclusion of the original.                                                                                                      
Number 1464                                                                                                                     
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ULMER corrected  a previous statement she had                                                               
made.   There could be either  six or seven ballots  under either                                                               
HB 193  or CSHB 193, depending  on party rules.   Both give power                                                               
to  the parties  to determine  their  candidates.   One says  the                                                               
primary  is open  unless it  is closed,  and the  other says  the                                                               
primary is closed unless it is opened.                                                                                          
Number 1387                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES  expressed appreciation for the  comments of                                                               
Representative James.   His biggest  fundamental problem  is that                                                               
if  the  parties  want  that much  control  over  the  nominating                                                               
process, then why  should the state be involved?   Why should the                                                               
state foot  the bill to allow  a party to nominate  who it wants?                                                               
He thinks the state's interest is in the general election.                                                                      
CHAIR COGHILL said he agreed and  that that was a separate policy                                                               
question.   He invited  Representative Hayes  to bring  forward a                                                               
bill to that effect and promised to give it a hearing.                                                                          
Number 1316                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES agreed with  Representative Hayes.  She said                                                               
the party caucus is no longer  used by either party.  "The caucus                                                               
is the  basic premise,  the grass roots  of party  activism," she                                                               
said.   "That's when within your  precinct you get the  people to                                                               
come together and  discuss the issues, you  discuss the platform,                                                               
... you  get that grass  roots effort" [which shapes  the party],                                                               
she  said.     She  indicated  willingness   to  co-sponsor  with                                                               
Representative Hayes a bill calling for party caucuses.                                                                         
Number 1193                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD said  he  thinks the  CS  is more  about                                                               
appearances, that  it is trying  to guard against  the appearance                                                               
of being a closed party as opposed to an open party.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  observed that things may  have evolved the                                                               
way they have in Alaska because the state is so vast.                                                                           
Number 1103                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  moved to report  CSHB 193, as  amended, out                                                               
of  the House  State Affairs  Standing Committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  objected  because   he  thinks  the  CS                                                               
eliminates many  people from  the process and  he opposes  the CS                                                               
because it is exclusionary rather than inclusionary.                                                                            
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Fate,  James,                                                               
Stevens,  Wilson, and  Coghill  voted for  CSHB  193 as  amended.                                                               
Representatives  Crawford and  Hayes  voted against  CSHB 193  as                                                               
amended.   Therefore, CSHB 193(STA)  was reported from  the House                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               
SB 103-ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                                                              
Number 0958                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL  announced the next  order of business would  be CS                                                               
FOR  SENATE  BILL NO.  103(FIN),  "An  Act relating  to  election                                                               
campaigns and legislative ethics."                                                                                              
Number 0925                                                                                                                     
SENATOR GENE  THERRIAULT, Alaska State Legislature,  came forward                                                               
to testify  as sponsor  of SB  103.   He said  SB 103  contains a                                                               
number of clarification and cleanup items related to the                                                                        
existing Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) and ethics                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT spelled out the changes:                                                                                     
   · Section 1 clarifies that multiple groups controlled by a                                                                   
     single  candidate will  be  treated as  a  single group  for                                                               
     purposes of the contribution limit.                                                                                        
   · Section 2 adds thank-you advertisements to the list of                                                                     
     permissible uses of unused campaign funds.                                                                                 
   · Section 3 increases the value of personal property that may                                                                
     be retained by  a candidate.  The current  law allows office                                                               
     materials such  as a computer, stationery,  and stamps worth                                                               
     a  total  of  $2,500  to  be carried  forward  to  the  next                                                               
     campaign; SB 103  increases that amount to $5,000.   It also                                                               
     permits a candidate  to keep a bulk mail permit  used in one                                                               
     campaign to use in the next  campaign.  It sets the value of                                                               
     campaign signs at zero so they can be carried forward.                                                                     
   · Section 4 provides that money held by public entities may                                                                  
     be used to influence the  outcome of a ballot proposition or                                                               
     question under limited circumstances.                                                                                      
   · Section 5 clarifies and further defines contributions,                                                                     
     saying that  accountants and  attorneys can  volunteer their                                                               
   · Section 6 adds new exceptions to and clarifies the                                                                         
     prohibition  on  use  of  public  assets  and  resources  by                                                               
     legislators  and  legislative employees  for  nonlegislative                                                               
     purposes and certain  previously prohibited public political                                                               
Number 0170                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked for clarification of Section 5.                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT directed attention to page 4, line 22.                                                                       
TAPE 01-32, SIDE A                                                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT acknowledged that  the drafting was confusing,                                                               
but  said  the meaning  is  that  accountants and  attorneys  can                                                               
volunteer their  professional services and  there is no  limit on                                                               
those contributions of services.                                                                                                
Number 0090                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD asked  if he had a volunteer  come in and                                                               
do computer work  on his mailing list, would  that be compensated                                                               
time or not under SB 103.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  said  that   individual  would  be  able  to                                                               
volunteer his or her  time.  The change SB 103  is making is that                                                               
a  professional   person,  specifically   an  accountant   or  an                                                               
attorney, can volunteer his or her  time and not be restricted by                                                               
the hourly rate that they  generally charge and coming up against                                                               
a monetary limit.                                                                                                               
Number 0255                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES   still  had  concern   about  professional                                                               
services,  specifically what  was  meant  by "other  professional                                                               
services" besides accounting and legal services.                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT consulted  with staff regarding Representative                                                               
Crawford's   question  about   a  person   contributing  computer                                                               
services.     He   clarified  that   a  computer   professional's                                                               
contribution would be capped at a  certain value, but that SB 103                                                               
specifically exempts accountants and attorneys from that limit.                                                                 
Number 0377                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD   understood  that  to  mean   that  the                                                               
accountant he  paid to help him  with his APOC report  could have                                                               
volunteered those services.                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT said that was correct.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  still had  concerns about  the professional                                                               
services, which she wished to look into further.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES  said  he   understood  the  exemption  for                                                               
accounting services,  but did  not see  a distinction  between an                                                               
attorney and a computer person helping a campaign.                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT said it had seemed  to the Senate that after a                                                               
campaign, a  candidate might need accounting  services because of                                                               
the [APOC] reports,  and might need legal services  if there were                                                               
a recount.   At that time, campaign funds might  be exhausted and                                                               
if professionals were willing to  donate those services, it could                                                               
be appropriate.  "It was a policy call," he added.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES asked  if the only purpose  of the provision                                                               
was for recounts.   He thought a candidate could  use the party's                                                               
attorney  for that.   He  expressed  concern because  he did  not                                                               
understand the point of it.                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT said  it is a policy call  for the legislature                                                               
to  consider.   With  respect to  Representative James'  question                                                               
about   professional  services,   the  prohibition   against  the                                                               
computer person already exists in statute.                                                                                      
Number 0617                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD said he had  been through a recount.  His                                                               
opponent had  a couple  of attorneys who  came in  as volunteers.                                                               
He questioned  at the time  whether that was legitimate,  and was                                                               
told this  was "after  the fact  of the  campaign" and  under the                                                               
present law  did not have  to be counted  as a contribution.   He                                                               
did  not  see  in SB  103  any  limitation  to  recounts.   If  a                                                               
candidate were  to violate  campaign finance  laws and  needed an                                                               
attorney, it  seemed to him that  person would be able  to get an                                                               
attorney  to  volunteer the  time,  and  that didn't  seem  quite                                                               
SENATOR  THERRIAULT said  Representative Crawford  was absolutely                                                               
right.    It  is  not  just  the  recount  issue.    If  somebody                                                               
challenged  a candidate's  residency  or said  the candidate  had                                                               
violated an  APOC ruling, the  candidate would be allowed  to use                                                               
the volunteered  services of an  attorney.   It is a  policy call                                                               
for the legislature to decide if  it wishes to allow that type of                                                               
Number 0745                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  said he understands this  provision to apply                                                               
not just  to a candidate,  but also to  the political party.   He                                                               
asked if that was allowed only during a campaign.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT  said an  attorney or  accountant would                                                               
be able to volunteer his or her services at any time.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE FATE recalled times  during campaigns when the use                                                               
of an attorney by any political  party had been so excessive that                                                               
it  far  exceeded  the  amount that  otherwise  could  have  been                                                               
donated.   He mentioned the  last gubernatorial  campaign, during                                                               
which APOC  discovered problems that  candidates had  to contest,                                                               
"and it was  very expensive," he said.   "I think this  is a good                                                               
approach to solving that problem."                                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT noted that Brooke Miles of APOC was on the                                                                   
teleconference line and might wish to comment on that section.                                                                  
Number 0842                                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT continued:                                                                                                   
   · Section 5: A portion of Section 5 deals with the party's                                                                   
     advocating for  its slate of  candidates.  It is  limited to                                                               
     two or  fewer mass mailings  before each election.   It also                                                               
     says  that a  candidate can  release polling  information as                                                               
     long as the  poll was limited to issues and  did not mention                                                               
     the  candidate and  was not  taken at  the direction  of the                                                               
     candidate.    The  last  portion of  Section  5  deals  with                                                               
     communications  in   the  form   of  a  newsletter   from  a                                                               
     legislator  to constituents,  and indicates  that incumbents                                                               
     can send out  those newsletters and not count the  cost as a                                                               
     contribution to that incumbent's campaign.                                                                                 
   · Section 6 deals with communications by groups to their                                                                     
     membership,  such  as  a union  newsletter  or  a  corporate                                                               
     newsletter.    If the  cost  of  such  a normal  mailing  to                                                               
     members of the  group is $500 or less, it  is not considered                                                               
     a campaign contribution.                                                                                                   
   · Section 7 concerns the use of legislative offices, changing                                                                
     the  allowable period  of  time from  five  days before  and                                                               
     after the session to ten.                                                                                                  
   · Sections F through J are activities already permitted                                                                      
     through  internal advice  or formal  rulings  of the  Ethics                                                               
     Committee, and the change is  just codifying those sections.                                                               
     Also, on  page 9 are two  sections on ethics that  appear in                                                               
     statute   in  other   places,  so   this   is  just   making                                                               
     corresponding change.                                                                                                      
CHAIR COGHILL asked about the extended use of office space at                                                                   
the beginning and end of session.                                                                                               
SENATOR  THERRIAULT explained  that  right  now, legislators  are                                                               
permitted to  utilize their offices  if they  wish to do  so, and                                                               
the change  is just broadening that  period of time by  five days                                                               
at  either end  of the  session, increasing  the total  number of                                                               
days from 130 to 140.                                                                                                           
Number 1087                                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT  said Section 9  had been added by  the Senate                                                               
Finance Committee.   It allows a gift of  transportation from one                                                               
legislator  to another.     "It  clarifies that  if  I was  going                                                               
hunting with Representative  Coghill, ... he could fly  me out to                                                               
the hunting camp;  that would be allowed." he explained.   "Or if                                                               
Representative  Coghill  was  going  to fly  down  to  Mat-Su  to                                                               
participate in some  function ..., I could catch a  ride with him                                                               
if he was flying a personal plane."                                                                                             
Number 1170                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL  observed that time  was short, and "there's  a lot                                                               
of stuff in here."                                                                                                              
Number 1197                                                                                                                     
SUSIE  BARNETT, Administrator,  Select  Committee on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics,  testified  by teleconference.    She  said she  and  the                                                               
committee chair,  Dennis "Skip"  Cook, were in  general concerned                                                               
about  amendments  to  the  ethics code  that  have  a  piecemeal                                                               
effect.   "The ethics code  is becoming more and  more disjointed                                                               
over  the  years  as  it  gets amended  and  more  difficult  for                                                               
legislators and  legislative employees to comprehend,"  she said.                                                               
"So I guess  we are urging caution, and if  there are amendments,                                                               
to  please ensure  that they  are brought  in and  tied from  one                                                               
section to another."                                                                                                            
MS.  BARNETT  said  they  also   are  concerned  that  disclosure                                                               
required  by the  ethics code  not only  benefit the  public, but                                                               
also  help legislators  and legislative  employees in  evaluating                                                               
the  influences,   gifts,  and   commitments  of  those   in  the                                                               
legislative branch.  "And so on  that note, we recommend adding a                                                               
disclosure  requirement  to  the subsection  just  referenced  by                                                               
Senator Therriault which  is on page 11, subsection  9, ... lines                                                               
8-12, ... [requiring] disclosure if the value is over $250."                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL asked her to repeat her recommendation.                                                                           
MS.  BARNETT  said  they  recommend   adding  a  gift  disclosure                                                               
requirement if the value of  the gift of transportation is valued                                                               
at more than  $250.  It would still be  allowable; there wouldn't                                                               
be a cap on it.  "It's just  that once it kicked in at $250, much                                                               
like any of our other gift  disclosures, you would need to file a                                                               
disclosure  report.   I  haven't prepared  an  amendment to  that                                                               
because ... Terry Cramer of Legal is  the one who can tie all the                                                               
pieces together.   There are several sections in  the ethics code                                                               
that refer to disclosure," she said.                                                                                            
Number 1369                                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT  told the committee  that the  change allowing                                                               
gifts  of transportation  was  a  policy call,  and  that he  was                                                               
amenable to whichever way they want  to look at it.  "There's the                                                               
full gamut  of not  requiring it  [disclosure], just  saying it's                                                               
allowable; requiring  disclosure just to the  Select Committee on                                                               
Legislative  Ethics  ("Ethics  Committee"); or  requiring  public                                                               
disclosure,"  he said.   Senate  Finance  chose to  not have  any                                                               
disclosure,  ... [but]  "if the  [House State  Affairs] committee                                                               
wants to consider one of  those methods of disclosure, that would                                                               
be certainly within your purview."                                                                                              
Number 1440                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES asked,  "Are we  assuming that  this little                                                               
trip that  you made out  hunting was because  the two of  you are                                                               
friends or because you're a legislator and he is a supporter?"                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT acknowledged that  would be hard to determine.                                                               
"We're clearly not  allowing Representative Coghill, if  he had a                                                               
plane, to fly  me ... from village to village  during a campaign.                                                               
Currently  under the  law,  if there  is a  hearing  going on  in                                                               
McGrath  on predator  control and  Coghill was  going to  fly out                                                               
there,  I could  go because  it would  be a  gift for  a specific                                                               
legislative purpose.   But now  when we're getting into  the area                                                               
of just going  hunting or maybe he  ... just wants to  fly me out                                                               
around the  Tanana Valley ... to  show off his new  plane, that's                                                               
what we're really  clarifying is that area, and I  guess what Ms.                                                               
Barnett is  asking that if  we allow that  to happen, that  we at                                                               
least have some kind of tracking or disclosure on it."                                                                          
MS. BARNETT confirmed that was,  correct, adding, "It's just that                                                               
it needs  to be tied  into our  disclosure section, but  it would                                                               
only affect this particular disclosure."                                                                                        
Number 1585                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES  proposed  adopting that  disclosure  as  a                                                               
conceptual amendment  [Amendment 1].   There being  no objection,                                                               
Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES asked if the  committee was going to hold SB
103 for further discussion.                                                                                                     
CHAIR  COGHILL noted  that SB  103  had been  noticed in  another                                                               
committee  and  declared  his  intent   to  send  the  conceptual                                                               
amendment to  the drafter and the  bill to the next  committee of                                                               
referral.   "It's  my  intention to  go ahead  and  move on  this                                                               
issue," he  said.  "I think  it's unfortunate the time  is short,                                                               
but  that's going  to  be  true now  probably  until  the end  of                                                               
session.  We're going to have to  make sure we stay as concise as                                                               
possible.   I've  ried to  do that  and still  allow for  as much                                                               
public discussion as possible.   At this point though, we've come                                                               
to the time where we must either act or fold."                                                                                  
Number 1650                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES said if the committee was going to act, he                                                                 
would like to make one more conceptual amendment [Amendment 2]:                                                                 
     Page 5, line 26,                                                                                                           
          Delete "other than legal"                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES objected.                                                                                                  
A  roll call  vote was  taken  on Amendment  2.   Representatives                                                               
Crawford and  Hayes voted for Amendment  2. Representatives Fate,                                                               
James, Stevens,  Wilson, and Coghill  voted against  Amendment 2.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 5 to 2.                                                                              
Number 1734                                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if the  disclosure required by Amendment                                                               
1  was  disclosure  to  the  Ethics  Committee  alone  or  public                                                               
disclosure.  "That does need  to be clarified," he said. pointing                                                               
out that the  Ethics Committee receives some  information that is                                                               
simply tracked by the committee but not disclosed to the public.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES said  he would  feel more  comfortable with                                                               
public disclosure.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  objected, saying  disclosure to  the Ethics                                                               
Committee  was fine,  but that  public disclosure  was going  too                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES responded, "I will keep  it as is and we can                                                               
SENATOR   THERRIAULT   clarified   that   Representative   Hayes'                                                               
amendment called for disclosure to  the Ethics Committee and that                                                               
the information disclosed would be public.                                                                                      
Number 1829                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   FATE  asked   Senator  Therriault   for  further                                                               
clarification.  "What  is going to be disclosed?   Is it going to                                                               
be  the total  concept of  any time  that you  associate yourself                                                               
with an elected official?" he asked.                                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT  referred to page  11, lines 8-12,  saying the                                                               
disclosure  requirement   applied  specifically  to  a   gift  of                                                               
transportation  from one  legislator  to another  worth at  least                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE FATE observed that  a gift of transportation could                                                               
be  almost   anything,  and  some  things   between  friends  are                                                               
completely outside  the realm of  politics.  "To bring  this even                                                               
to the  Ethics Committee  is a  stretch, but to  bring it  to the                                                               
public is really a stretch," he declared.                                                                                       
Number 1912                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS said  he would  have problems  with this,                                                               
too.  "It includes  if you came to Kodiak and  I took you halibut                                                               
fishing,  how do  we figure  out what  the cost  of that  is?" he                                                               
asked.  "If you  were to go on a charter,  it could easily exceed                                                               
$250,  but ...  it's just  a  silly thing,  I can't  see us  even                                                               
getting involved in that.  I'm against the whole issue."                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD volunteered,  "If I  went to  Kodiak I'd                                                               
certainly want  the halibut  trip if  I could  get Representative                                                               
Stevens to take me, but ..."                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS interjected, "It's  coming back that's the                                                               
problem, Sir."  REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  continued, "... but also                                                               
I think we could  be opening a can of worms  here.  Using Senator                                                               
Olson as an example just because he  has a plane, he could take a                                                               
person of his choosing around  to different villages and it could                                                               
be  just friendly,  but it  could run  into thousands  of dollars                                                               
worth of campaign  contributions by the amount of  travel that he                                                               
might  give.   I  certainly think  that we  need  to have  public                                                               
disclosure of that sort of thing."                                                                                              
Number 1993                                                                                                                     
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  pointed out  that  this  section of  statute                                                               
deals  specifically with  ethics.   In  addition,  there are  the                                                               
Alaska  Public Offices  Commission (APOC)  statutes.   If Senator                                                               
Olson was flying somebody around  during a campaign and they were                                                               
meeting  with officials,  that would  be  campaigning, and  those                                                               
contributions  of  transportation  would  all  be  disclosed  and                                                               
limited under APOC, he said.                                                                                                    
Number 2026                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   CRAWFORD   expressed   concern   about   whether                                                               
traveling  to "all  these  different villages  in  the off  year"                                                               
would be  considered campaigning.   He pointed out that  it could                                                               
be construed  to help  in a subsequent  campaign even  thought it                                                               
wasn't in the time immediately before an election.                                                                              
SENATOR  THERRIAULT replied  that if  the activity  triggered the                                                               
existing  APOC laws,  that  would all  be  disclosed and  limited                                                               
under APOC.   "We're just talking here about what  is ethical for                                                               
you   to   receive   from   another    legislator   as   far   as                                                               
transportation,"  he emphasized.   "The  APOC statutes  and their                                                               
triggers  operate completely  ...  [apart] from  this section  of                                                               
Number 2074                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON pointed out  that private aircraft is about                                                               
the only  way to get  to many villages,  and if somebody  goes up                                                               
there to visit, that's how they're  going to travel, and it's "no                                                               
big deal."                                                                                                                      
Number 2094                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES gave  an example of Senator  Olson going out                                                               
to a village because they're having a potlatch or a party:                                                                      
     It's   not  a   campaign  season,   and  Representative                                                                    
     Foster's relatives are  out there, and he  wants to go,                                                                    
     and Olson  is going and ...  [so Representative Foster]                                                                    
     gets  in  and  goes.     It  has  nothing  to  do  with                                                                    
     campaigning;  it  has only  to  do  with some  personal                                                                    
     experience  that  you're  having.    That's  what  this                                                                    
     applies to, is that correct?                                                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT said that was correct.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES  said that to  him, the issue boils  down to                                                               
his thinking full disclosure to the public is not a bad thing.                                                                  
CHAIR  COGHILL   called  for  another  vote   on  the  conceptual                                                               
amendment, Amendment 1, specifying that  the disclosure of a gift                                                               
of travel would  be made to the Ethics Committee  and then to the                                                               
A   second   roll  call   vote   on   Amendment  1   was   taken.                                                               
Representatives   Crawford   Hayes   voted   for   Amendment   1.                                                               
Representatives Fate  James, Stevens,  Wilson, and  Coghill voted                                                               
against Amendment 1.  Therefore, Amendment  1 failed by a vote of                                                               
5 to 2.                                                                                                                         
Number 2186                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  moved  to   report  CSSB  103(FIN)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  wished to clarify that  the committee had                                                               
just dealt  with amendments proposed  in the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing  Committee,  and  that [CSSB  103(FIN)]  still  included                                                               
Section 9 as proposed by Senator Therriault.                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL said that was correct.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES objected.                                                                                                  
CHAIR COGHILL  said he  was going  to recess to  the call  of the                                                               
chair, but first wanted the committee to vote on CSSB 103(FIN).                                                                 
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Fate,  James,                                                               
Stevens,   Wilson,  and   Coghill   voted   for  CSSB   103(FIN).                                                               
Representatives  Crawford  Hayes  voted  against  CSSB  103(FIN).                                                               
Therefore, CSSB  103(FIN) moved  out of  the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee by a vote of five to two.                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  recessed the committee  at 10:15  a.m., announcing                                                               
that it  would reconvene immediately  after the floor  session to                                                               
take up SB 93.                                                                                                                  
[A new  tape was  inserted when the  meeting was  reconvened, and                                                               
therefore there is no recording on Tape 01-32, Side B.]                                                                         
TAPE 01-33, SIDE A                                                                                                              
SB 93 - ARCTIC WINTER GAMES TEAM ALASKA TRUST                                                                                 
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL reconvened  the meeting of the  House State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee at 11:02 a.m.   Representatives Fate, Stevens,                                                               
Crawford, and Hayes were present at the call to order.                                                                          
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that the  next order of  business before                                                               
the committee  would be CS FOR  SENATE BILL NO. 93(FIN),  "An Act                                                               
relating  to  the Arctic  Winter  Games  Team Alaska  trust;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS  came forward to testify as  sponsor of SB
93.  He explained that it  will establish an endowment fund to be                                                               
managed  by the  Department of  Revenue.   Anybody  who wants  to                                                               
contribute toward the endowment can  do so, and that contribution                                                               
will  be accepted.    This bill,  SB 93,  sets  up the  technical                                                               
frameword under  which the  Department of  Revenue will  have the                                                               
authority to manage the fund.                                                                                                   
CHAIR COGHILL invited any questions from the committee.                                                                         
SENATOR PHILLIPS said the Arctic  Winter Games Trust is being set                                                               
up  in exactly  the  same  way as  the  Alaska Children's'  Fund.                                                               
There are  no appropriations for it  yet.  "All I'm  trying to do                                                               
is establish  the endowment  for now,  and then  later on  we can                                                               
work on the appropriation for it," he explained.                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked if he  knew of any contributions  that would                                                               
immediately go into the trust.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  PHILLIPS replied  that he  did not  know of  any pending                                                               
contributions,  and that  it would  be  up to  the Arctic  Winter                                                               
Games Committee to begin raising  funds.  "This is just authority                                                               
to begin  a trust,"  he reiterated.   "This  is not  bringing any                                                               
money  out of  state at  this point.   This  is just  a framework                                                               
only.  I want to make that abundantly clear."                                                                                   
Number 0260                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL noted  that the Arctic Winter  Games obviously have                                                               
captured the attention of Alaska.                                                                                               
Number 0286                                                                                                                     
SENATOR PHILLIPS replied,  "I hope so.  I think  they have."  The                                                               
next games  will be held in  Greenland in March of  2002, and the                                                               
state will be  sending about 320 athletes.  The  fund is intended                                                               
to be  invested to  earn about  five percent  interest, capturing                                                               
proceeds from the investment, not  spending any of the investment                                                               
fund, he explained.                                                                                                             
Number 0301                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  COGHILL said  he would  like  to move  SB 93  to the  next                                                               
committee  of referral,  the  House  Finance Standing  Committee.                                                               
What the House State Affairs  Standing Committee is passing on to                                                               
them is a  framework for them to  work on.  He asked  the will of                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
Number 0345                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  moved to report  CSSB 93(FIN) out  of the                                                               
House   State   Affairs   Standing  Committee   with   individual                                                               
recommendations  and  a  zero  fiscal   note.    There  being  no                                                               
objection, CSSB  93(FIN) was moved  from the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee meeting was  adjourned at 11:05                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects