Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/19/2001 08:04 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 19, 2001                                                                                         
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Coghill, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Jeannette James                                                                                                  
Representative Hugh Fate                                                                                                        
Representative Gary Stevens                                                                                                     
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Joe Hayes                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 192                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Bristol Bay Salmon Classic; and                                                                         
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 192 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 189                                                                                                              
"An Act repealing statutory provisions relating to term limits                                                                  
and term limit pledges."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 189 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 170                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to granting certain employees of the Department                                                                
of Fish and Game status as peace officers under the public                                                                      
employees' retirement system."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14                                                                                                   
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska                                                                 
relating to the budget reserve fund and to the Alaska heritage                                                                  
fund; and providing for an effective date for the amendments.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 192                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:BRISTOL BAY SALMON CLASSIC                                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)KAPSNER                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/19/01     0647       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/19/01     0647       (H)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
04/19/01     1063       (H)        STA RPT 6DP                                                                                  
04/19/01     1063       (H)        DP: STEVENS, CRAWFORD, JAMES,                                                                
                                   FATE,                                                                                        
04/19/01     1063       (H)        HAYES, COGHILL                                                                               
04/19/01     1063       (H)        FN1: ZERO(REV)                                                                               
04/19/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 189                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:REPEAL TERM LIMITS/TERM LIMITS PLEDGES                                                                              
SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/16/01     0626       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/16/01     0626       (H)        STA, JUD                                                                                     
04/12/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
04/12/01                (H)        <Bill Postponed to 4/19>                                                                     
04/19/01     1062       (H)        STA RPT 6DP                                                                                  
04/19/01     1063       (H)        DP: STEVENS, CRAWFORD, JAMES,                                                                
                                   FATE,                                                                                        
04/19/01     1063       (H)        HAYES, COGHILL                                                                               
04/19/01     1063       (H)        FN1: ZERO(GOV)                                                                               
04/19/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 170                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:PERS PEACE OFFICER STATUS: F&G EMPLOYEES                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)MASEK                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/09/01     0520       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/09/01     0520       (H)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
03/09/01     0520       (H)        REFERRED TO STATE AFFAIRS                                                                    
04/10/01     0940       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): KERTTULA                                                                       
04/19/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 14                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:CONST. AM: ALASKA HERITAGE FUND                                                                                     
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)CRAWFORD                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/14/01     0316       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/14/01     0316       (H)        STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                
02/14/01     0316       (H)        REFERRED TO STATE AFFAIRS                                                                    
04/17/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
04/17/01                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
04/19/01                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MARY KAPSNER                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 424                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as the sponsor of HB 192.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LUANNE PELAGIO, Executive Director                                                                                              
Bristol Bay Native Corporation's Education Foundation                                                                           
PO BOX 202243                                                                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, Alaska 99520                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 192.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MARIE PAUL                                                                                                                      
Bristol Bay Native Corporation's Education Foundation                                                                           
PO BOX 166                                                                                                                      
TOGIAK, Alaska 99678                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 192.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GRETA GOTO                                                                                                                      
5622 CHILKOOT CT.                                                                                                               
ANCHORAGE, Alaska 99524                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 192.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN LARSON                                                                                                                 
PO BOX 220968                                                                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, Alaska 99522                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 192.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 118                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as chair of the House Judiciary                                                                  
Standing Committee, sponsor of HB 189.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
GAIL FENUMIAI, Election Program Specialist                                                                                      
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
P.O. Box 110017                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0017                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 189.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER RUDINGER, Executive Director                                                                                           
Alaska Civil Liberties Union                                                                                                    
P.O. Box 291844                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, AK 99520-1844                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 189.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
EDDIE GRASSER, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative Masek                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 128                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the sponsor of HB
170, Representative Masek.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GUY BELL, Director                                                                                                              
Health Benefits Section                                                                                                         
Division of Retirement & Benefits                                                                                               
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110203                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0201                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to HB 170.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DAVID LOVE, Southeast Region Shrimp Research Biologist                                                                          
Commercial Fisheries Division                                                                                                   
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 1743                                                                                                                     
Petersburg, Alaska 99833                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MATT EVENSON, Fisheries Research Biologist                                                                                      
Fairbanks Sport Fish Division                                                                                                   
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 83691                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska 99708                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOHN HILSINGER                                                                                                                  
1650 Winterset Drive                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska 99508                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170 and the                                                                     
proposed CS.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF BARNHART, Fisheries Biologist                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
11276 Bell Flats Road                                                                                                           
Kodiak, Alaska 99615                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GINO DELFRATE, Wildlife Biologist                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 1413                                                                                                                     
Homer, Alaska 99603                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TIM VIAVANT, Fisheries Biologist                                                                                                
Fairbanks Division of Sport Fishing                                                                                             
Alaska Department of Fish & Game,                                                                                               
PO Box 83053                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska 99708                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DON YOUNG, Wildlife Biologist                                                                                                   
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
2702 Peger Rd                                                                                                                   
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BOB MURPHY, Management Biologist                                                                                                
Division of Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 4187                                                                                                                     
Kodiak, Alaska 99615                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
NICHOLAS SAGALKIN                                                                                                               
1315 Mission Road                                                                                                               
Kodiak, Alaska 99615                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT HUNTER, Wildlife Technician                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 83456                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska 99708                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MIKE DOXEY, Sport Fish Biologist                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 71448                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska 99707                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified to the need to place all ADF&G                                                                   
biologists on a 20-year retirement plan.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HARRY REYNOLDS, 28-year employee                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 80843                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska 99708                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 170.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JESSE VANDERZANDEN, Executive Director                                                                                          
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
PO Box 73902                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska 99707                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 170.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DOREEN PARKER-McNEILL, Wildlife Biologist                                                                                       
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
1163 Toni Ct.                                                                                                                   
North Pole, Alaska 99705                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 170.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN BROOKS, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 170.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-42, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JOHN  COGHILL  called the  House  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   8:04  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Coghill, Fate, Stevens, and Crawford  were present at the call to                                                               
order.   Representatives James and  Hayes arrived as  the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 192-BRISTOL BAY SALMON CLASSIC                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  192, "An  Act relating  to  the Bristol  Bay                                                               
Salmon Classic; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0087                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MARY KAPSNER,  Alaska State Legislature, testified                                                               
as the  sponsor of HB  192.  Representative Kapsner  informed the                                                               
committee that  HB 192  would merely add  the Bristol  Bay Salmon                                                               
Classic  to  an already  existing  statute  that includes  salmon                                                               
classics in  three other areas.   The Bristol Bay  Salmon Classic                                                               
will provide  another funding source  for the Bristol  Bay Native                                                               
Corporation's   Education   Foundation   in  order   to   support                                                               
scholarships.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0183                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LUANNE   PELAGIO,   Executive   Director,  Bristol   Bay   Native                                                               
Corporation's     Education     Foundation,     testified     via                                                               
teleconference.   Ms. Pelagio  requested the  committee's support                                                               
of  HB 192.   She  explained that  the foundation  would use  the                                                               
revenue  generated by  the salmon  classic to  provide additional                                                               
scholarships  through   the  Bristol  Bay   Native  Corporation's                                                               
Education  Foundation.   In the  last three  years the  number of                                                               
scholarships have  doubled.  Therefore,  [the Bristol  Bay Native                                                               
Corporation's  Education Foundation]  is  seeking  other ways  to                                                               
generate revenue to provide more  scholarships.  Furthermore, she                                                               
believed  that  support  could  be  garnered  for  the  education                                                               
program through the region by  collaborating with the processors,                                                               
canneries,  and   fishermen.    In  conclusion,   she  urged  the                                                               
committee to pass HB 192.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  commended Ms.  Pelagio's  work  with the  current                                                               
scholarship program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0371                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARIE   PAUL,   Bristol   Bay  Native   Corporation's   Education                                                               
Foundation,  testified via  teleconference.   Ms. Paul  announced                                                               
her support  of the  Bristol Bay Salmon  Classic because  it will                                                               
help the young  people through the scholarships.   She echoed the                                                               
need for  the committee's support  of HB  192 due to  the growing                                                               
demand for scholarships.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0458                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GRETA  GOTO  testified  via teleconference.    She  informed  the                                                               
committee that  she is a past  recipient of a Bristol  Bay Native                                                               
Corporation scholarship.   Ms. Goto  noted her support of  HB 192                                                               
because  it  supports young  people  who  want to  further  their                                                               
education.  She requested the committee's support for HB 192.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  asked if  the  assumption  that all  the                                                               
money  that is  collected from  the  salmon classic  goes to  the                                                               
students for scholarships and that  no money is spent on overhead                                                               
costs would be correct.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. PELAGIO said that would be correct.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0559                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN LARSON testified  via teleconference.  He  noted that he                                                               
is  a  past  recipient  of   a  Bristol  Bay  Native  Corporation                                                               
scholarship.  He  also noted his support of HB  192.  In response                                                               
to Chair Coghill, Mr. Larson  informed the committee that he used                                                               
his scholarship to pursue his  business degree, which he received                                                               
in 1998.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOTO informed the committee  that she used her scholarship to                                                               
pay for the books [required for her classes].                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER,  in response  to Chair  Coghill, affirmed                                                               
that the [Alaska Department of]  Fish & Game (ADF&G) will perform                                                               
the tallying for this classic.   Although there is no backup from                                                               
the [Alaska  Department of] Fish &  Game, there is a  zero fiscal                                                               
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS pointed  out  that  [ADF&G] already  does                                                               
this for that time period.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0743                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES moved  to report  HB 192  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  [zero]                                                               
fiscal note.  There being no  objection, HB 192 was reported from                                                               
the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 189 - REPEAL TERM LIMITS/TERM LIMITS PLEDGES                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0790                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  189, "An  Act  repealing  statutory  provisions                                                               
relating to term limits and term limit pledges."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0189                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NORMAN ROKEBERG,  Alaska State  Legislature, came                                                               
forward  to testify  as  chair of  the  House Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee, sponsor of  HB 189.  He explained that  HB 189 repeals                                                               
statutory  provisions  relating to  term  limits  and term  limit                                                               
pledges.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  went over  the sponsor  statement, which                                                               
said:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     On  February  28, 2001,  in  a  case entitled  Cook  v.                                                                  
     Gralike, et al., the United  States Supreme Court ruled                                                                  
     that printing term limit pledges  on the ballot next to                                                                    
     a Congressional  candidate's name  is unconstitutional.                                                                    
     The  Missouri  act  which   was  struck  down  required                                                                    
     "DISREGARDED VOTERS' INSTRUCTION ON  TERM LIMITS" to be                                                                    
     printed on ballots  by the names of  members failing to                                                                    
     take  certain  legislative  acts   in  support  of  the                                                                    
     proposed term  limit amendment.  It  also provided that                                                                    
     "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT  TERM LIMITS" be printed                                                                    
     by the  names of the non-incumbent  candidates refusing                                                                    
     to  take  a  "Term  Limit"  pledge  to  bring  about  a                                                                    
     specified "Congressional Term Limits Amendment."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Through   the   Elections  Clause,   the   Constitution                                                                    
     delegated  to  the states  the  power  to regulate  the                                                                    
     "Times,  Places,   Manner  of  holding   Elections  for                                                                    
     Senators and  Representatives," subject  to a  grant of                                                                    
     authority   to  Congress   to  "make   or  alter   such                                                                    
     Regulations."   The states  may regulate  the incidents                                                                    
     of  such elections,  including  balloting, only  within                                                                    
     the exclusive  delegation of power under  the Elections                                                                    
     Clause.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  Supreme  Court  found   that  the  requirement  of                                                                    
     printing   on  the   ballot  a   candidate's  lack   of                                                                    
     acceptance of a term limit  pledge was not a procedural                                                                    
     regulation.     It  did  not   regulate  the   time  of                                                                    
     elections; it did not regulate  the place of elections;                                                                    
     nor did it  regulate the manner of  elections.  Rather,                                                                    
     the court  found, the requirement was  plainly designed                                                                    
     to  favor candidates  who are  willing  to support  the                                                                    
     particular  form of  a term  limits  amendment, and  to                                                                    
     disfavor those  who either oppose term  limits entirely                                                                    
     or who  would prefer a  different proposal.   The Court                                                                    
     stated  that   "...  it seems  clear  that the  adverse                                                                    
     labels handicap  candidates at  the most  crucial state                                                                    
     in the election process --  the instant before the vote                                                                    
     is  cast.   The  labels  imply  that  the issue  is  an                                                                    
     important -- perhaps paramount  -- consideration in the                                                                    
     citizen's  choice, which  may decisively  influence the                                                                    
     citizen to  cast his ballot against  candidates branded                                                                    
     as  unfaithful.     Thus,   far  from   regulating  the                                                                    
     procedural  mechanisms of  elections, the  Missouri act                                                                    
     attempts   to  dictate   electoral   outcomes.     Such                                                                    
     'regulation' of  congressional elections simply  is not                                                                    
     authorized by the 'Elections Clause.'"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska   statutes   AS   15.15.500-575   require   that                                                                    
     "VIOLATED VOTER INSTRUCTION ON  TERM LIMITS" be printed                                                                    
     on the  ballot adjacent to  the name of  any respective                                                                    
     state  Senator or  Representative  who  failed to  take                                                                    
     appropriate action  in support of a  congressional term                                                                    
     limit  amendment   to  the  constitution,   during  the                                                                    
     preceding term  of office.   The same shall  be printed                                                                    
     on  the  ballot adjacent  to  the  name of  any  United                                                                    
     States  Senator or  Representative  who  also fails  to                                                                    
     take appropriate action during the preceding term.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Non-incumbent candidates for  United States Senator and                                                                    
     Representative,  and state  Senator and  Representative                                                                    
     who decline to  take a "Term Limits"  pledge shall have                                                                    
     "DECLINED  TO  TAKE  PLEDGE  TO  SUPPORT  TERM  LIMITS"                                                                    
     printed  adjacent to  their name  on every  primary and                                                                    
     general election ballot.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Any candidate  for the United  States Congress  and the                                                                    
     Alaska  Legislature  is  permitted  to  submit  to  the                                                                    
     lieutenant  governor  an  executed  copy  of  the  Term                                                                    
     Limits  Pledge  set  for  in   AS  15.15.560(b).    The                                                                    
     lieutenant  governor  shall  place  on  every  election                                                                    
     ballot "Signed  TERM LIMITS pledge: Will  serve no more                                                                    
     than  [3 terms]  [2 terms]"  next  to the  name of  any                                                                    
     candidate  who  has  ever   executed  the  Term  Limits                                                                    
     pledge.  In addition,  "Broke TERM LIMITS pledge" shall                                                                    
     be  placed on  every ballot  next  to the  name of  any                                                                    
     candidate,  who at  any  time  executes the  applicable                                                                    
     Term  Limits  Pledge,  and thereafter  qualifies  as  a                                                                    
     candidate for  a term that  would exceed the  number of                                                                    
     terms or  years set for  in the applicable  Term Limits                                                                    
     Pledge.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Since the  Alaska statutes are  so similar to  those of                                                                    
     Missouri,  this  United  States  Supreme  Court  ruling                                                                    
     suggests that our statutes  are unconstitutional.  This                                                                    
     bill will repeal these unconstitutional statutes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The committee urges your support of this bill.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1200                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG said  he  submits that  the pledge  that                                                               
candidates  for the  Alaska legislature  are  required to  either                                                               
decline  or [find  it] unconstitutional.    He said  he was  very                                                               
surprised that  it found its  way onto the ballot,  and expressed                                                               
disappointment  with the  lieutenant  governor  and the  attorney                                                               
general for not  finding it unconstitutional.  He  said there has                                                               
been adjudication throughout the country on the issue.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  said he  had been  "a rabid  term limits                                                               
supporter"  when first  elected to  the legislature.   "As  I was                                                               
here longer,  my wisdom  started growing,"  he testified,  and he                                                               
now thinks it takes two to four  years to learn the job.  He said                                                               
he thinks  he would support term  limit pledges if they  were for                                                               
"eight years in  one house and four in the  other or twelve years                                                               
or whatever  -- or none at  all," but he thinks  that in Alaska's                                                               
statute, a candidate  has to agree to serving no  more than eight                                                               
years within a 16-year period.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said, "That is if you sign the pledge."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1477                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he does  not agree with the existing                                                               
limitation.  He explained:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  voters have  forced me  into a  situation where  I                                                                    
     either have to sign or  not sign for something I really                                                                    
     believe  in  philosophically,  that  is  to  say,  term                                                                    
     limits.    But because  I  disagree  with the  specific                                                                    
     number of  years, that puts  me at odds with  the whole                                                                    
     situation.  So  I would have a "scarlet letter."   As a                                                                    
     matter of fact, I signed  a term limit pledge last time                                                                    
     because  I   thought  it   was  representative   of  my                                                                    
     philosophy.   Now, because I introduced  this bill, the                                                                    
     lieutenant  governor  is  going  to  have  to  put  the                                                                    
       "scarlet letter" next to my name.  So I'd ask the                                                                        
        committee to pass this bill so I won't have that                                                                        
     happen.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  noted  that committee  members  had  in                                                               
their  packets a  letter from  a former  state attorney  general,                                                               
John Havelock, in which he states his support for HB 189.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1425                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked if those who  have signed the pledge would be                                                               
released from that pledge if HB 189 were to pass.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said they would.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  mentioned a  1998 Alaska  State attorney                                                               
general's opinion  that found a  portion of the state  statute to                                                               
be  unconstitutional.   [That opinion  was included  in committee                                                               
members' packets.]  He explained, "The  term limits pledge  as it                                                               
relates specifically  to Congressional candidates  (Alaska's U.S.                                                               
senators and  congressman) [is  unconstitutional] because  of the                                                               
Supreme Court case."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  said, "It  seems to  me that  those same                                                               
arguments, albeit applying in a  broader picture, [also apply] to                                                               
the  state candidates  for the  state legislature.   I  think the                                                               
people of  the state of Alaska  erred in the construction  of the                                                               
initiative   that   was   put    forward   to   them   and   it's                                                               
unconstitutional based on First Amendment grounds."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL commented, "A point well taken."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES added, "I second it."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1580                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said his major  question concerned the releasing of                                                               
those who  had already signed  the pledge.   He said  he supposed                                                               
that  those who  agree  with  the concept  of  term limits  could                                                               
publicly make note of the fact that that it is their philosophy.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG responded, "It's called campaigning."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1541                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said one of the  reasons he did not sign the pledge                                                               
was  because he  wants the  people in  the district  to make  the                                                               
determination [of how long he will serve].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG agreed,  saying,  "The  major method  of                                                               
term limiting is the ballot box.  Let the voters decide."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1594                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked,  "Do you see any other  questions that might                                                               
arise from us taking it off this statute?"                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GAIL   FENUMIAI,  Election   Program   Specialist,  Division   of                                                               
Elections, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, replied:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     No, in  fact, the  division was just  contemplating how                                                                    
     to  go  about  monitoring  this  whole  voluntary  term                                                                    
     limits  pledge, which  is  the only  part  ... of  this                                                                    
     section  that   would  be   repealed  ...   because  as                                                                    
     Representative Rokeberg pointed  out, the first section                                                                    
     to this  statute, 15.15.500 to 15.15.535,  ...[was] the                                                                    
     mandatory  term limits  pledge  ...  that was  declared                                                                    
     unconstitutional  by the  courts,  and so  we were  not                                                                    
     enforcing  that at  all.   So  no, it'll  free up  some                                                                    
     space on  the ballots ...  now without having  to print                                                                    
     that little  line below people  who did decide  to take                                                                    
     that voluntary pledge.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1654                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said a ballot  is for selecting candidates, not for                                                               
disseminating information.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1694                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS said he understood  this is a state issue,                                                               
but asked  what is now  the current law  on the federal  level as                                                               
far as Senators and Representatives in Congress.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1721                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  said the Supreme Court  case decision in                                                               
February    found    "any    provisions   regarding    that    as                                                               
unconstitutional."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  surmised, "So  we'll see some  changes in                                                               
that as well".                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied,:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Right.    Frankly, without  that  case  coming down,  I                                                                    
     would   not   probably   have  brought   forward   this                                                                    
     legislation in  fear of being castigated  by the public                                                                    
     as trying  to overturn  the initiative process  and the                                                                    
     will  of the  voters.   I  just think  the  way it  was                                                                    
     constructed and  how it's done  is unfair;  it's unfair                                                                    
     to  the candidates  who run  for  office and  therefore                                                                    
     unfair to the people of the state of Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1489                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  said she didn't  think that  repealing this                                                               
law  would  stop various  groups  who  believe strongly  in  term                                                               
limits from trying to get candidates  to pledge to them that they                                                               
would support  term limits.  She  said she does not  believe that                                                               
signing a  pledge is a good  idea "because you may  find out some                                                               
additional  information that  you  didn't know  before, and  then                                                               
you'd  like  to  break  it,  and breaking  pledges  is  just  ...                                                               
something you  don't do in  this job. So I  try not to  make firm                                                               
commitments on anything.   I just try to say  I'll watch the bill                                                               
and I'll see what I do when it's  on the House floor and I'll see                                                               
what it says."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1829                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  RUDINGER, Executive  Director,  Alaska Civil  Liberties                                                               
Union  (AkCLU), came  forward to  testify in  support of  HB 189.                                                               
She  said  the AkCLU's  position  has  nothing  to do  with  term                                                               
limits.   "It is simply  that the ballot  itself is no  place for                                                               
election propaganda,"  she said;  "the voters have  a right  to a                                                               
ballot that  is clean  and that  candidates have  a right  not to                                                               
have  either 'scarlet  letters' or,  in this  case, 'gold  stars'                                                               
next to their names."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUDINGER said the AkCLU was  close to filing a lawsuit on the                                                               
original "scarlet letter  law" that never took  effect.  Alaska's                                                               
scarlet  letter law  that Attorney  General  Bruce Botelho  ruled                                                               
unconstitutional a few  years ago was similar  to Missouri's, she                                                               
said.   The difference  between them was  that the  Missouri bill                                                               
put something by a candidate's  name indicating whether or not he                                                               
or  she chose  to sign  the pledge.  The AkCLU  calls Alaska's  a                                                               
"gold star" law  because if a person doesn't sign  the pledge, it                                                               
doesn't say  anything by that  person's name  on the ballot.   It                                                               
only says something  by the names of those who  chose to sign the                                                               
pledge.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUDINGER  said the  ACLU of  Idaho successfully  challenged a                                                               
law essentially the same as Alaska's,  a gold star law.  The ACLU                                                               
of Idaho  took it to the  Supreme Court of Idaho  on two grounds,                                                               
free  speech  rights of  candidates  and  the rights  of  voters.                                                               
Although they won on rights of  voters, the court did not rule on                                                               
the free speech issue.  The Idaho court said:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     While  respondents have  argued  that the  state has  a                                                                    
     legitimate   interest   in    providing   voters   with                                                                    
     information, they have failed  to demonstrate that such                                                                    
     an  interest  is compelling  and  that  the statute  is                                                                    
     necessary to  further that  interest.   The information                                                                    
     the state seeks  to make available to  voters is easily                                                                    
     obtainable through  a variety of other  sources, namely                                                                    
     media   sources   and   the   candidate's   own   voter                                                                    
     information materials.   The statute cannot  be said to                                                                    
     be  necessary  to  provide   that  information  to  the                                                                    
     voters.   In  addition,  while the  state  does have  a                                                                    
     compelling interest in protecting  the integrity of the                                                                    
     electoral process, the ballot  legend authorized by the                                                                    
     statute  undermines ballot  integrity by  "transforming                                                                    
     it [the ballot] from a  means of choosing candidates to                                                                    
     a billboard for political advertising."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUDINGER said that is the  crux of the ACLU's objection.  "We                                                               
don't care  what the issue is,"  she explained; "we do  not think                                                               
that  the ballot  is the  place for  this kind  of speech."   The                                                               
AkCLU is happy not  to have to go to court if  HB 189 passes, and                                                               
"We are here in support of it," she concluded.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2057                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD commented,  "I feel  like I  woke up  in                                                               
some  sort   of  alternate  reality   this  morning.     We  have                                                               
Republicans  talking against  term limits  pledges and  the AkCLU                                                               
backing them  up.  I  don't know what's  happened."  He  said he,                                                               
too, supported HB 189.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  added, "We're  all  going  to  walk out  of  here                                                               
joining hands."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2097                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES claimed  a conflict  of interest,  as could                                                               
all members,  because HB 189  affected him.   He called  the bill                                                               
"great."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2115                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE moved to report  HB 189 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  zero  fiscal                                                               
note.   There being  no objection,  HB 189 was  moved out  of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  declared  a  brief  at-ease at  8:32  a.m.    The                                                               
committee was called back to order at 8:35 a.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 170-PERS PEACE OFFICER STATUS: F&G EMPLOYEES                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  continued with the  next order of  business, HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO. 170,  "An Act relating to granting  certain employees of                                                               
the Department  of Fish and  Game status as peace  officers under                                                               
the public employees' retirement system."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2194                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
EDDIE  GRASSER,  Staff  to  Representative  Masek,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, explained that  Representative Masek introduced this                                                               
legislation due  to the concerns  surrounding the  attrition rate                                                               
being  experienced  in  the  Alaska Department  of  Fish  &  Game                                                               
(ADF&G).   Mr. Grasser  said HB  170 was  introduced in  order to                                                               
create incentives  to recruit  new employees  that stay  with the                                                               
department.  Mr.  Grasser pointed out that  Alaska's wealth comes                                                               
from its resources.  The revenues  derived from fish and game are                                                               
significant.  Therefore, Mr. Grasser  felt it would be a travesty                                                               
to not have qualified professionals managing Alaska's wildlife.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRASSER addressed the concern  raised regarding the status of                                                               
peace  officers,  which  is addressed  in  a  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS) that  the sponsor  prepared  for the  committee.                                                               
The  CS takes  ADF&G employees  out of  peace officer  status and                                                               
creates a new position, Professional Fish & Game employees.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  inquired as  to  how  this would  impact                                                               
part-time employees or seasonal employees.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRASSER pointed  out that  the  definition section  includes                                                               
permanent, seasonal  employees.  Therefore, a  part-time employee                                                               
that  isn't permanent  would not  be included  in the  retirement                                                               
system while  permanent seasonal  employees would be  included in                                                               
the retirement system.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2387                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  asked, "What does  that mean in  terms of                                                               
actual retirement  for someone ...?   Does that prolong it  to 40                                                               
years or  can they  still retire  after 20  years as  a six-month                                                               
employee?"                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRASSER  related his belief  that once an employee  is vested                                                               
as  a  state  employee  and   that  employee  reaches  a  certain                                                               
timeframe,  then  that  employee   can  retire.    However,  that                                                               
employee's retirement benefits may not be that much.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2424                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GUY  BELL,   Director,  Health  Benefits  Section,   Division  of                                                               
Retirement  & Benefits,  Department of  Administration, explained                                                               
that  if a  seasonal employee  worked five  months as  a seasonal                                                               
employee, then  that employee would  have five months  of service                                                               
that  year.   Therefore, it  would take  longer for  a [seasonal]                                                               
employee to accumulate 20 or 30 years.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked  if an employee can buy  more [retirement] or                                                               
is it limited to the employees employment.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL  explained that  the bill  allows a  person to  buy past                                                               
service [accrued] as peace officer service.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked if a seasonal  employee would be able [to buy                                                               
their past accrued service].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL replied  yes  and clarified  that  the same  provisions                                                               
apply to seasonal  and full-time employees.   In further response                                                               
to Chair Coghill, Mr. Bell confirmed  that there is a cost to the                                                               
employee to buy  back [past accrued service].   He specified that                                                               
the cost is the difference  between what the employee contributed                                                               
and  would  have  contributed  as   a  peace  officer  plus  some                                                               
interest, which is less than the full actuarial cost.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2549                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES addressed the  "catch-up amount."  She posed                                                               
a situation in which an employee  had been working for five years                                                               
and paying  into a 30-year  plan.  With  the change to  a 20-year                                                               
plan,  does the  bill include  an option  to "do  that or  not do                                                               
that."   Furthermore,  when an  employee buys  in to  the 20-year                                                               
plan, does that employee have to  pay the state's portion as well                                                               
as their own.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL  explained that as the  bill is drafted, the  person who                                                               
wants to  purchase service as  peace officer time is  required to                                                               
pay  the difference  between what  the  employee would  pay as  a                                                               
peace officer versus  a non peace officer, which  is a difference                                                               
of  three-quarters of  a percent  per year  plus interest.   That                                                               
amount is less  than the full actuarial cost.   Also, there is an                                                               
employer  contribution that  has gone  into the  system over  the                                                               
years that hasn't been addressed.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   STEVENS  noted   his   agreement  that   20-year                                                               
retirement  is a  good idea  for ADF&G  because people  are being                                                               
lost  to the  federal government.   Representative  Stevens asked                                                               
whether Mr.  Bell saw this  proposed change as having  a negative                                                               
impact on the  health of the Public  Employees' Retirement System                                                               
(PERS) and the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS).                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL pointed out that, in  broad terms, there are a number of                                                               
groups that are interested in  changing from a 30-year retirement                                                               
to  a 20-year  retirement as  is evident  in past  legislation to                                                               
make  this  change  for  police   dispatchers  and  employees  of                                                               
correctional  institutions.    In those  cases,  the  legislature                                                               
required those  employees to pay  the entire cost to  "20 [years]                                                               
and out."   Although he  wasn't sure  of the number  of employees                                                               
interested  in "20  [years] and  out,"  he remarked  that even  a                                                               
couple thousand  employees would  amount to a  substantial amount                                                               
that would impact  employer rates.  Mr. Bell pointed  out that it                                                               
is about a  2.5 percent differential between a  peace officer and                                                               
a non peace officer.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  remarked that this  [legislation] is not  the only                                                               
one  of its  kind.   With  that, Chair  Coghill  turned to  those                                                               
signed up to testify.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2947                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAVID   LOVE,  Southeast   Region   Shrimp  Research   Biologist,                                                               
Commercial Fisheries Division, Alaska  Department of Fish & Game,                                                               
testified via teleconference.  He  began by noting his support of                                                               
HB 170.  Mr.  Love has worked in fisheries for  15 years and took                                                               
his current position  in June of 2000.  When  he took his current                                                               
position  he  took  a  pay   cut  from  his  previous  positions.                                                               
Furthermore, if he had taken  a similar position with the federal                                                               
government,  Mr.   Love  would  be  receiving   [Cost  of  Living                                                               
Allowance] COLA in  addition to his regular pay.   In response to                                                               
why  he took  such a  position, Mr.  Love said,  "I see  it as  a                                                               
stimulating  position.    I  work with  people  like  myself  who                                                               
believe they have a responsibility  to future generations and the                                                               
people of Alaska  to wisely use the resources we  all depend [on]                                                               
and  benefit from."   Although  Mr. Love  likes his  position, he                                                               
pointed  out that  over  the course  of his  career  he has  been                                                               
exposed  to   a  variety  of  dangerous   situations  in  various                                                               
locations.   He remarked that  some days he asks  himself whether                                                               
the risks  of his  job are  worth the  rewards.   Therefore, some                                                               
recognition of  the risks he  has taken  while in the  service of                                                               
the state in  the form of the 20-year retirement  plan would help                                                               
to  allay his  occasional  cynicism and  maintain his  enthusiasm                                                               
during  the long  hours  he  often works.    Mr.  Love said  that                                                               
benefits as  described in  HB 170  would be a  step in  the right                                                               
direction to  convince new  hires like  himself to  stay employed                                                               
with the State of Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOVE informed the committee  that he has discovered that some                                                               
of his coworkers were hired as  biologists with the state under a                                                               
20-year  retirement plan  similar  to that  proposed  in HB  170.                                                               
Therefore, he  felt that  such disparity is  unfair and  could be                                                               
rectified with HB 170.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-42, SIDE B                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOVE  concluded by  encouraging the supporters  of HB  170 to                                                               
make it a reality.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2951                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MATT EVENSON, Fisheries Research  Biologist, Fairbanks Sport Fish                                                               
Division,  testified via  teleconference.   Mr. Evenson  spoke in                                                               
support of HB  170.  He acknowledged that as  an employee working                                                               
under the 30-year  retirement plan, he has much to  gain with the                                                               
passage of  HB 170.   However, he alluded  to the notion  that HB
170 would  benefit more  than just  a few  state employees.   Mr.                                                               
Evenson  reviewed  his  positive  experience with  his  job  with                                                               
ADF&G.   As  a  college  intern, he  couldn't  think of  anything                                                               
better  than  "flying around  the  countryside  and bobbing  down                                                               
Alaska's wild and  scenic rivers for weeks on end."   However, as                                                               
Mr. Evenson  began to raise a  family, being gone for  weeks at a                                                               
time  became more  stressful on  his family.   Mr.  Evenson said,                                                               
"Having done  this work for  15 years  now, it's hard  to imagine                                                               
keeping  up this  pace  and enthusiasm  knowing  retirement is  a                                                               
minimum of  15 years away.   Nor is  it easy to  imagine applying                                                               
for a more  demanding and stressful higher  level positions until                                                               
I feel  like I'm much closer  to retirement."  Under  the current                                                               
30-year  retirement  system,  Mr. Evenson  believes  that  vested                                                               
professionals with  the state  system will  leave the  system for                                                               
less stressful  and higher paying  consulting positions  with the                                                               
federal government or private businesses.   Such a scenario would                                                               
be  bad  for the  state  as  a  whole.   Therefore,  Mr.  Evenson                                                               
believes  that reinstating  the 20-year  retirement system  would                                                               
ensure that the managers of  Alaska's fish and wildlife resources                                                               
will  remain  "the  dedicated  and  passionate  and  enthusiastic                                                               
professionals that I have come to know for the past 15 years."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2831                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  HILSINGER  testified  via teleconference.    Mr.  Hilsinger                                                               
informed the committee that he  retired in 1988 under the 20-year                                                               
retirement system.  He recalled  that those hired after 1983 fall                                                               
under  the  30-year  retirement.   Mr.  Hilsinger  said  that  he                                                               
supports HB  170 because these  jobs are extremely  stressful and                                                               
dangerous.   Since statehood,  there have  been 24  [ADF&G staff]                                                               
fatalities.   Furthermore, the pay  for these positions  have not                                                               
kept pace with  inflation or with what the  federal government is                                                               
paying for  comparable federal positions.   Mr. Hilsinger related                                                               
his  belief that  very few  of  those working  under the  30-year                                                               
retirement will actually work 30 years.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HILSINGER pointed  out that  ADF&G hires  a large  number of                                                               
seasonal  employees  who  spend  five   to  ten  years  with  the                                                               
department before they  are able to obtain  a full-time permanent                                                               
position.   Such seasonal employees  may actually end  up working                                                               
35-40 years to  receive 30 years of service.   Mr. Hilsinger said                                                               
that many  people are leaving  the department after ten  years of                                                               
service, which  troubled him.   Therefore, he felt that  this 20-                                                               
year  retirement system  would be  a powerful  incentive to  help                                                               
retain employees.  He felt that  the cost to the employee as laid                                                               
out in HB 170 is fair.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILSINGER  turned the peace  officer retirement.   He related                                                               
his belief that  the ADF&G 20-year retirement could  stand on its                                                               
own merit  and doesn't necessarily have  to be tied to  the peace                                                               
officer retirement.  Therefore, Mr.  Hilsinger said that he could                                                               
support the  CS as well [as  HB 170].  However,  he expressed the                                                               
need  to take  care  in  determining which  positions  are to  be                                                               
included  in  the 20-year  retirement.    He suggested  including                                                               
those positions that  require a degree in  biological sciences as                                                               
well as the Fish & Wildlife Tech and boat officer positions.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2609                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  inquired  as   to  which  positions  Mr.                                                               
Hilsinger would exclude from the 20-year retirement.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.   HILSINGER  specified   that  he   would  exclude   all  the                                                               
administrative  positions,  the  resource  specialists,  and  the                                                               
research analysts.   Those are  the primary positions  that don't                                                               
require a  degree in biology.   Mr. Hilsinger expressed  the need                                                               
to  use language  such that  it  would allow  a person  who is  a                                                               
biologist  and who  takes a  promotion to  a position  that isn't                                                               
included in the  20-year retirement system the  ability to retain                                                               
that 20-year retirement.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2544                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JEFF BARNHART,  Fisheries Biologist, Alaska Department  of Fish &                                                               
Game, testified  via teleconference.   He noted that he,  as have                                                               
others, has lost a number of  friends while working for ADF&G and                                                               
serving  the people  of  the state.   Personally,  he  has had  a                                                               
number of close  calls himself.  "The dangers are  very real.  We                                                               
face them every day and people  should be compensated in the form                                                               
of a  20-year retirement," he  said.  Furthermore, there  are the                                                               
economic  realities   that  are   illustrated  in   the  American                                                               
Fisheries  Society  reports  of   the  comparisons  of  fisheries                                                               
biologists'  salaries   nationwide  since  1977.     A  fisheries                                                               
biologist's  salary  in  Alaska  has  significantly  declined  in                                                               
comparison to the national average.   The decline in salaries and                                                               
benefits  since  1977 coupled  with  the  change from  a  20-year                                                               
retirement  to   a  30-year  retirement   has  resulted   in  the                                                               
department's  current  situation:   a  20  percent vacancy  rate.                                                               
Biologists  with the  department  are leaving  state service  for                                                               
various  other   options.     Therefore,  the   department  isn't                                                               
retaining its  current biologists  nor is  it attracting  new and                                                               
qualified people.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARNHART  remarked that Alaska's fish  and wildlife resources                                                               
is Alaska's primary renewable resource  and thus the economic and                                                               
social  benefits of  Alaska's fish  and wildlife  resources touch                                                               
the lives  of almost  every Alaskan.   He  reviewed the  range of                                                               
economic  and social  benefits created  by these  resources.   He                                                               
said, "It's  so important to  the lives  of all Alaskans  that we                                                               
have  good populations  of wild  resources  for now  and for  the                                                               
future.   We need to  keep the qualified biologists  we currently                                                               
have and  attract new qualified  biologists that would  make good                                                               
decisions based on sound research.   And 20-year retirement would                                                               
be  a good  step toward  achieving  that goal."   Therefore,  Mr.                                                               
Barnhart encouraged the committee to support the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2355                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GINO DELFRATE,  Wildlife Biologist,  Alaska Department of  Fish &                                                               
Game, testified via teleconference.   Mr. Delfrate encouraged the                                                               
committee to pass HB 170.   He informed the committee that he was                                                               
the first  person hired  under the 30-year  retirement plan.   He                                                               
also informed  the committee that  when he  was first hired  as a                                                               
wildlife  biologist he  was required  to obtain  a peace  officer                                                               
badge.   Mr. Delfrate said that  as time passed he  realized that                                                               
his job was no different than  the person he replaced who had 20-                                                               
year  retirement.   In  fact,  the person  that  he replaced  was                                                               
killed  in  an  airplane  accident   while  doing  mountain  goat                                                               
surveys.    Mr.  Delfrate  expressed the  need  to  have  20-year                                                               
retirement  because  there is  no  difference  in the  work,  and                                                               
furthermore it would make a difference in his outlook.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2244                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TIM  VIAVANT, Fisheries  Biologist, Fairbanks  Division of  Sport                                                               
Fishing,  Alaska  Department  of   Fish  &  Game,  testified  via                                                               
teleconference.   Mr. Viavant urged  the committee to  support HB
170.   Mr.  Viavant echoed  earlier comments  regarding the  fact                                                               
that  the department  is facing  and will  continue to  face real                                                               
problems  with recruitment  and  retention  of qualified  quality                                                               
employees.  In recent years  the pool of available candidates has                                                               
been small and  often recruitment periods have to  be extended or                                                               
out  of  state recruitment  has  occurred.    He feels  that  the                                                               
recruitment  pool is  smaller  because of  the  disparity in  pay                                                               
between the federal  government and private sector  and the state                                                               
government.  Furthermore, this work,  although rewarding, is very                                                               
stressful and occasionally  dangerous.  Although safety  is a big                                                               
concern for  Mr. Viavant, he  said that the overall  stress level                                                               
of  being  in  a  position  that  has  contention  over  resource                                                               
allocation [is  also a  big concern].   Other stressors  with the                                                               
job are  the large amounts of  time spent away from  home as well                                                               
as  working   large  amounts  of  uncompensated   overtime.    In                                                               
conclusion,  Mr.  Viavant said  that  a  20-year retirement  plan                                                               
would  make  these  positions   more  attractive  to  prospective                                                               
applicants  and  would  increase   the  likelihood  that  current                                                               
employees would stay to meet the 20-year retirement.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2046                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DON YOUNG, Wildlife Biologist, Alaska  Department of Fish & Game,                                                               
testified via teleconference.  He  began by noting his support of                                                               
HB 170.   He informed the committee that he  has worked for ADF&G                                                               
since  1997.   Prior  to  that  he worked  for  the  U.S. Fish  &                                                               
Wildlife Service in  Fairbanks for about eight years.   Under the                                                               
federal  system, he  wasn't deputized  and fell  under a  30-year                                                               
retirement  system.   Prior to  his work  with [the  U.S. Fish  &                                                               
Wildlife Service] he  worked with the Idaho Department  of Fish &                                                               
Game as  a seasonal technician  from 1978-1989.  Under  the Idaho                                                               
system he was deputized and under a 20-year retirement system.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. YOUNG  said that the primary  issue for him is  the hazardous                                                               
risk with  his position.   Mr. Young informed the  committee that                                                               
since  coming to  Alaska he  has  lost four  colleagues to  plane                                                               
crashes.   He pointed out that  he spends hundreds of  hours each                                                               
year  doing low-level,  less than  500 feet,  fixed-wing surveys.                                                               
Often  these surveys  are conducted  in poor  weather conditions.                                                               
Furthermore, in his  position he spends about  a week net-gunning                                                               
caribou,  which is  considered to  be one  of the  most dangerous                                                               
capture  activities.   He discussed  the potential  problems with                                                               
the various capture  activities and noted that  the department is                                                               
reviewing the aircraft  safety policy due to the  number of close                                                               
calls.    Mr. Young  turned  to  the  enforcement aspect  of  the                                                               
position   and  charged   that   staff  is   poorly  trained   in                                                               
enforcement.    At   the  beginning  of  his   service  with  the                                                               
department, he  received one  week of training  and at  this time                                                               
there have been no refresher courses.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. YOUNG echoed earlier comments  regarding the fact that people                                                               
doing   the  same   job,  side-by-side,   fall  under   different                                                               
retirement  plans, which  he  indicated is  [unfair].   From  his                                                               
experience  serving on  the hiring  committee, he  concluded that                                                               
the hiring pool is relatively poor.   Therefore, he felt that the                                                               
20-year retirement would  improve that situation.   In closing he                                                               
returned  to the  fact  that he  left the  federal  system to  be                                                               
employed with the state, which resulted  in a 30 percent pay cut,                                                               
although the  job was the same.   He clarified that  he only went                                                               
to the state system once his  situation was such that he couldn't                                                               
continue with the federal system.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1725                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BOB   MURPHY,  Management   Biologist,  Division   of  Commercial                                                               
Fisheries,  Alaska  Department  of  Fish &  Game,  testified  via                                                               
teleconference.  Mr.  Murphy noted his strong support  of HB 170.                                                               
He echoed earlier testimony regarding  the dangers of ADF&G staff                                                               
when  in  the  field.    Although  the  state  has  developed  an                                                               
excellent system  of local management  and a  thorough regulatory                                                               
process,  management of  fish and  wildlife  is one  of the  most                                                               
contentious  issues in  the  state  and places  a  high level  of                                                               
responsibility and stress on ADF&G  staff.  Therefore, it becomes                                                               
more difficult to  fill vacant positions and  entice employees to                                                               
take  promotions to  more stressful  positions.   He pointed  out                                                               
that many younger employees openly  state that they will not stay                                                               
to  reach their  30-year  retirement.   Mr.  Murphy concluded  by                                                               
saying, "This bill is the  single-most critical step in the right                                                               
direction  to providing  a strong  incentive  for recruiting  and                                                               
retaining  well-qualified and  talented individuals  to work  for                                                               
the Alaska Department of Fish & Game."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NICHOLAS  SAGALKIN testified  via teleconference.   Mr.  Sagalkin                                                               
said he strongly supported HB 170.   In his five years with ADF&G                                                               
he has had a number of close  calls during which he felt his life                                                               
was in jeopardy.  He  reviewed his firsthand experiences with the                                                               
dangers of  the job.   Mr. Sagalkin also addressed  the difficult                                                               
time the department  has had with recruiting  people in biologist                                                               
positions.   For example, the  management biologist  position for                                                               
Area M,  one of  the most controversial  fisheries in  the state,                                                               
will  be unfilled  going  into the  beginning  of the  commercial                                                               
fishing season.   Also  the research  biologist position  for the                                                               
Bering  Sea, one  of the  largest resources  in Alaska,  has been                                                               
unfilled for several months now.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS reiterated  his earlier question regarding                                                               
who  should  be  included  in   and  excluded  from  the  20-year                                                               
retirement plan.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MURPHY related  his  belief that  the  proposed CS  includes                                                               
language that includes  all biologists with the  state, which are                                                               
the field generals for ADF&G.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  pointed  out that  some  [ADF&G  biologists]  are                                                               
deputized by the Commissioner of  the Department of Public Safety                                                               
and thus there is some overlap.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1412                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT HUNTER,  Wildlife Technician, Alaska Department  of Fish &                                                               
Game, testified via teleconference in support  of HB 170.  In the                                                               
12 years he  has worked with ADF&G  he has had a  number of close                                                               
calls, including  three serious  aircraft incidents.   Mr. Hunter                                                               
informed the committee that Alaska  has the highest death rate of                                                               
biologists  and  technicians  in  North  America.    Furthermore,                                                               
[ADF&G's]   benefits  are   not  keeping   pace  with   competing                                                               
employers.  There are fewer  applicants than one would expect for                                                               
many positions,  which has often  led the department to  delay or                                                               
postpone  a recruiting  process due  to an  inadequate number  of                                                               
applicants to  ensure that the  best person for the  position was                                                               
being hired.   At one  time it  was common to  attract applicants                                                               
from  federal agencies,  but that  is no  longer the  case.   Mr.                                                               
Hunter said,  "Our programs are already  suffering from vacancies                                                               
that take too long to fill."   Therefore, employees often have to                                                               
cover  those  vacant  positions  in  addition  to  their  current                                                               
position, which is inefficient.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HUNTER  echoed  earlier  comments  regarding  the  disparity                                                               
within the  office, that is  colleagues doing the same  job while                                                               
falling under different retirement systems.   He pointed out that                                                               
a ten year  difference in retirement can be a  long time when one                                                               
thinks in  context of the  risks to  which the employee  is being                                                               
exposed.   Mr.  Hunter  said, "Regaining  the 20-year  retirement                                                               
option may  help reduce  the gap  between the  employers' benefit                                                               
packages and  allow us  to compete, again,  for the  expertise we                                                               
need  working for  the  state."   Therefore,  he  hoped that  the                                                               
committee will support  HB 170 in order to  restore the [20-year]                                                               
benefit option to the department's biologists and technicians.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1181                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MIKE DOXEY,  Sport Fish  Biologist, Alaska  Department of  Fish &                                                               
Game, testified  via teleconference.   He mentioned the  death of                                                               
two  of his  college  mates while  working for  ADF&G.   He  also                                                               
mentioned  his  dangerous  experiences   as  an  ADF&G  employee.                                                               
However,  he noted  that  his experiences  are  not unique  among                                                               
ADF&G employees.   Mr. Doxey  felt it appropriate that  all ADF&G                                                               
biologists be covered by the 20-year retirement plan as he is.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1095                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HARRY  REYNOLDS, 28-year  employee, Alaska  Department of  Fish &                                                               
Game, testified  via teleconference.   He noted that most  of his                                                               
employment  with  ADF&G  has  been as  a  grizzly  bear  research                                                               
biologist.   Mr. Reynolds reiterated earlier  testimony regarding                                                               
the dangerous  nature of his  job and noted  that he has  been in                                                               
three helicopter  crashes, one  airplane crashe,  five helicopter                                                               
incidents,  and  three fixed-wing  incidents.    Although he  has                                                               
survived, four of his friends have  not.  Employees of ADF&G have                                                               
a  higher  rate of  violent  death  on  the  job than  any  other                                                               
department,  including  the  state  troopers, he  believed.    He                                                               
related his belief that the current retirement system is unfair.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  REYNOLDS  turned  to the  earlier  suggestion  of  excluding                                                               
employees without  a biology degree  from the  20-year retirement                                                               
system.    He  pointed  out   that  in  the  Fairbanks  division,                                                               
biometricians,   computer    program   analysts,    and   network                                                               
specialists  consistently  do  field work  alongside  biologists.                                                               
Therefore,  he  felt  that  the original  language  that  said  a                                                               
qualified  employee was  someone  certified  by the  commissioner                                                               
"could address this concern."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0907                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JESSE  VANDERZANDEN, Executive  Director, Alaska  Outdoor Council                                                               
(AOC), testified  via teleconference.  Mr.  Vanderzanden informed                                                               
the committee that the AOC  board hasn't had a formal opportunity                                                               
to support  HB 170.   However, he  has spoken with  several board                                                               
members  who   wanted  him  to   forward  their  support.     Mr.                                                               
Vanderzanden said  that [AOC]  agrees with  many of  the comments                                                               
mentioned  regarding  hazardous  duty  and  fairness  within  the                                                               
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. VANDERZANDEN said:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     To the extent possible the  AOC has tried to base their                                                                    
     policies  on sound  science.   And as  you know,  sound                                                                    
     science  is  founded  upon   the  replication  and  the                                                                    
     constant  measuring and  monitoring of  the environment                                                                    
     and the  fish and  wildlife resources that  interact in                                                                    
     that environment.   The  retainment of  good biologists                                                                    
     at  ADF&G   enhances  this  replication  and   in  turn                                                                    
     enhances  the credibility  of the  department.   And in                                                                    
     turn  enhances Alaska's  credibility,  with respect  to                                                                    
     the  intensive and  scientific management  of fish  and                                                                    
     game.   To us,  it's absolutely  critical to  have this                                                                    
     ... replication, to have this  continuity, to have this                                                                    
     monitoring.    It's  no secret  that  we're  under  the                                                                    
     microscope of the East Coast  and in many respects, the                                                                    
     nation.   And  to the  extent that  we can  enhance and                                                                    
     maintain  our  scientific  credibility, it  allows  the                                                                    
     state  to  not  only   retain  their  state  management                                                                    
     authority  but  also  to  continue  implementing  often                                                                    
     unique  and ...  sometimes controversial  programs that                                                                    
     separate Alaska from  the rest of the nation.   We have                                                                    
     a different  set of  circumstances up  here and  to the                                                                    
     extent that we can  maintain and enhance our scientific                                                                    
     credibility, it's good for  the department, ... Alaska,                                                                    
     and ... our fish and wildlife.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0720                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DOREEN PARKER-McNEILL,  Wildlife Biologist, Alaska  Department of                                                               
Fish  & Game,  testified via  teleconference.   She informed  the                                                               
committee that a significant amount  of her job entails low-level                                                               
wildlife survey flights and she has  worked in remote areas.  Ms.                                                               
Parker-McNeill also  informed the committee that  for eight years                                                               
she worked for  the U.S. Forest Service.  When  she switched from                                                               
federal  to state  employment,  she noticed  that  her voice  was                                                               
actually  heard in  the state's  bureaucratic  system.   However,                                                               
when  she worked  for the  state she  no longer  received the  25                                                               
percent tax  free COLA.   She reviewed the inherent  dangers with                                                               
her  job.   Ms.  Parker-McNeill  said  that  she hoped  that  the                                                               
committee would  support HB 170  because she believes that  a 20-                                                               
year retirement plan  would keep ADF&G employees  working for the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0468                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  BROOKS,  Director,  Division of  Administrative  Services,                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish &  Game, said that the department feels                                                               
that it is  worthy to review this type of  measure.  He confirmed                                                               
the testimony  that the  department has  been grappling  with pay                                                               
and retention  issues for the  past few years.   Currently, there                                                               
is  a salary  survey being  conducted  in order  to document  the                                                               
aforementioned  poor  candidate pools  and  other  problems.   He                                                               
agreed  that the  aforementioned dangers  to ADF&G  employees are                                                               
real.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS  informed the committee that  currently the department                                                               
has about  250 employees that  fall under the  20-year retirement                                                               
plan.   In those  same biological positions  there are  about 363                                                               
that fall  under the 30-year  retirement plan.  These  two groups                                                               
are  working   side-by-side.    With  regard   to  the  deputized                                                               
employees, he  explained that every  year the department  sends a                                                               
pool of employees  to the Sitka Trooper Academy for  about a week                                                               
of training.   These  deputized employees  complement enforcement                                                               
efforts from the  Department of Public Safety.   Although that is                                                               
part of the job,  it is not the primary focus.   Mr. Brooks noted                                                               
his agreement  with Mr. Hilsinger's comment  that ADF&G employees                                                               
and  their hazardous  duties can  stood alone,  apart from  peace                                                               
officers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  turned to the  disparity between  state employment                                                               
and  federal employment  [for a  fish and/or  wildlife position].                                                               
He asked Mr. Brooks to provide the committee with a percentage.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS remarked that the  disparity between federal and state                                                               
employment   has   been   one   of   the   department's   largest                                                               
frustrations.   He  said that  the biggest  difference is  the 20                                                               
percent tax free COLA.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-43, SIDE A                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS  informed the  committee that  the salary  survey will                                                               
compare  state  employment   with  federal  employment;  specific                                                               
comparisons will be  prepared.  That survey will  be available in                                                               
May.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  if there  are other  disparities for  ADF&G                                                               
employees beyond the retirement plan.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BROOKS  explained that  the  most  recently hired  employees                                                               
enter a  three-tier system  that is  dramatically different.   He                                                               
recalled  that  there is  other  legislation  that would  address                                                               
those inequities.   Someone hired  today, would be under  the 30-                                                               
year retirement  and receive 50  percent [of the  health benefits                                                               
upon retirement].                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES asked  if there  has been  a change  in the                                                               
number of years required for someone to become vested.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS  said he believes that  it takes five years  to become                                                               
vested.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There  was   inaudible  testimony  from  Kathy   Lea,  Retirement                                                               
Supervision,  Division of  Retirement &  Benefits, Department  of                                                               
Administration, regarding  the three-tier system and  the vesting                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0304                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS said that  he appreciated hearing from Mr.                                                               
Reynolds and Mr. Doxey both of  which could have retired after 20                                                               
years,  but choose  to stay.   Therefore,  Representative Stevens                                                               
surmised  that   the  good  news   is  that  under   the  20-year                                                               
retirement, it doesn't  necessarily mean that an  employee has to                                                               
retire after  20 years; it  is merely an option.   Representative                                                               
Stevens asked  whether Mr. Brooks  had any  idea how many  of the                                                               
250  employees under  the 20-year  retirement system  have worked                                                               
beyond 20 years.   He also asked whether the  24 deaths that have                                                               
occurred  since statehood  primarily involved  low-level flights.                                                               
He  further asked  how moving  between  administrative and  field                                                               
positions would impact retirement.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS first addressed the  question regarding the percentage                                                               
of employees working beyond their  20-year retirement.  By virtue                                                               
of  the cutoff  date,  1983,  there is  an  increasing number  of                                                               
employees  that are  working past  20 years.   However,  he noted                                                               
that some  of those folks are  seasonal.  Mr. Brooks  then turned                                                               
to the  question regarding the  24 fatalities in  the department,                                                               
which he believes were mainly aircraft fatalities.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BROOKS moved  on to  the question  regarding whether  moving                                                               
between   administrative  and   field   positions  would   impact                                                               
retirement and  whether that is  clear in  the bill.   Mr. Brooks                                                               
said that  the desire  is to  have this issue  clear in  the bill                                                               
because "we" don't  want anything in the bill  to dissuade anyone                                                               
from  promoting.   The  intent is  to  identify those  biological                                                               
positions that  are hazardous.   From his  own experience  in the                                                               
department,   Mr.  Brooks   pointed  out   that  every   regional                                                               
supervisor, deputy  director, and director hired  in the resource                                                               
divisions has  come through the  ranks and has a  biology degree.                                                               
Mr. Brooks said that the  department's position would be that the                                                               
designation  would  carry  if someone  promoted  outside  of  the                                                               
strict biological definition.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0585                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that he  would like  to hold HB  170 and                                                               
discuss  it again,  although he  expressed the  need to  get this                                                               
bill  to the  House Finance  Committee  this year.   However,  he                                                               
noted  that there  are  several other  bills  that are  traveling                                                               
through  the   legislature  that  discuss   workforce  retention,                                                               
recruitment, and parity.  Chair  Coghill clarified that he wanted                                                               
to  lay some  of these  side-by-side before  passing them  to the                                                               
House  Finance  Committee.   He  noted  that  he also  wanted  to                                                               
further  discuss  the  peace  officer   link  that  HB  170  has.                                                               
Therefore, Chair Coghill held HB 170 for further discussion.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
[Please note that the tape was changed at this point.]                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-44, SIDE A                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HJR 14-CONST. AM: ALASKA HERITAGE FUND                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 14,  Proposing amendments  to the                                                               
Constitution  of  the State  of  Alaska  relating to  the  budget                                                               
reserve fund and  to the Alaska heritage fund;  and providing for                                                               
an effective date for the amendments.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD,  Alaska State Legislature,  testified as                                                               
the sponsor  of HJR 14.   Representative Crawford  explained that                                                               
HJR 14 is a simple  and straightforward constitutional amendment.                                                               
However,  it will  result in  many consequences.   Representative                                                               
Crawford  said, "I  believe that  it's  incumbent on  us to  look                                                               
forward and see  that we have a disaster waiting  for us and that                                                               
we   need  to   act."     This   resolution   would  change   the                                                               
Constitutional Budget  Reserve Fund to the  Alaska Heritage Fund,                                                               
which  is a  percent  of  market value  fund.    With the  Alaska                                                               
Heritage Fund "we"  would never spend more than 5  percent of the                                                               
market  value of  the  fund.   Therefore,  the  savings would  be                                                               
protected from "us"  and thus would hopefully  provide an impetus                                                               
to move  forward on  a long-term  fiscal policy.   Representative                                                               
Crawford  said that  he couldn't  see any  other choices  in this                                                               
matter.  He  pointed out, "We don't know  when the constitutional                                                               
budget reserve is going to run out.   But if we do nothing, we do                                                               
know it's going to run out."   Therefore, he believes that HJR 14                                                               
would provide the necessary tools  to establish a growing fund to                                                               
use for the budget gap, which would eliminate the need to tax.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL announced that HJR  14 would probably be brought up                                                               
again on Tuesday.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee meeting was  adjourned at 10:55                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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