Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/30/2004 08:03 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                                                                           
                         March 30, 2004                                                                                         
                           8:03 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Jim Holm, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                                                                  
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 459                                                                                                              
"An Act requiring an auditable  paper trail for electronic voting                                                               
machines; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 547                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the  dividends  of  individuals  claiming                                                               
allowable absences; and providing for an effective date."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 132                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the   duties  of  the  attorney  general;                                                               
requiring  the attorney  general  to participate  in all  actions                                                               
affecting  the   management  and  jurisdiction  of   the  natural                                                               
resources  of the  state; amending  Rule 24(c),  Alaska Rules  of                                                               
Civil  Procedure;   and  amending  Rule  514,   Alaska  Rules  of                                                               
Appellate Procedure."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 132(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 331                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to federal  requirements for  governmental plan                                                               
and  other qualifications  for the  teachers' retirement  system,                                                               
the public employees' retirement system, and the judicial                                                                       
retirement system; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED TO 4/1/04                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 459                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PAPER TRAIL FOR ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GARA                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
03/09/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
03/09/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/04       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/18/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
03/18/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/18/04       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/30/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 547                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PFD: DELAY PAYMENT FOR ALLOWABLE ABSENCES                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
03/29/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/29/04       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/30/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 132                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AG INTERVENE IN NATURAL RESOURCES ACTIONS                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WEYHRAUCH                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/26/03       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/26/03       (H)       STA, RES, JUD                                                                                          
03/13/03       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
03/13/03       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/24/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
03/24/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/24/04       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/30/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as sponsor of HB 459.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LAURA GLAISER, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the division during                                                                 
the hearing on HB 459.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ROGER GAY                                                                                                                       
Big Lake, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  testified on behalf of himself during the                                                                  
hearing on HB 459.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOHN DAVID RAGAN                                                                                                                
Ester, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 459.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNN KORAL                                                                                                                      
Alaska Independent Blind                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of Alaska Independent                                                                  
Blind during the hearing on HB 459.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JIM SYKES                                                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 459.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS KNIGHT, Staff                                                                                                             
to Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 547 on behalf of                                                                             
Representative Seaton, sponsor.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PAUL DICK, Chief, PFD Operations                                                                                                
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                                                                                
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on behalf of the                                                                        
division during the hearing on HB 547.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SHARON BARTON, Director                                                                                                         
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                                                                                
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered  supplemental information during the                                                               
hearing on HB 547.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DAVID W. MARQUEZ, Chief Assistant Attorney General                                                                              
Legislation & Regulations Section                                                                                               
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB
132.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-50, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BRUCE WEYHRAUCH  called the  House State  Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  8:03 a.m.   Representatives Holm,                                                               
Seaton, Coghill, Lynn, and Weyhrauch  were present at the call to                                                               
order.   Representatives Berkowitz  and Gruenberg arrived  as the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 459-PAPER TRAIL FOR ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Contains discussion of HB 320.]                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0025                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that the  first order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 459, "An  Act requiring an auditable  paper trail                                                               
for electronic  voting machines;  and providing for  an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0110                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM moved to adopt  the committee substitute (CS)                                                               
for  HB  459, Version  23-LS1686\Q,  Kurtz,  3/29/04, as  a  work                                                               
draft.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0140                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected for discussion purposes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  offered a brief  review of  the bill.   He noted                                                               
that  [Version Q]  would  add  Section 2,  which  would make  the                                                               
electronic voting machine  be a backup to  "the scanner version."                                                               
He  mentioned  Section 3,  regarding  the  use of  electronically                                                               
generated  ballots,  and  Section  4,  which  defines  the  terms                                                               
[electronically generated  ballot and optically  scanned ballot].                                                               
He deferred to Representative Les Gara.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0270                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA, Alaska  State Legislature, as sponsor of                                                               
HB 459, noted  the original idea [behind the bill]  was to ensure                                                               
that there  is a paper  trail for all  ballots.  However,  it was                                                               
then  realized that  touch screen  voting machines  needed to  be                                                               
available for those with visual  disabilities.  He explained that                                                               
that was  provided for by federal  law.  He indicated  the desire                                                               
to keep  the [touch screen  voting] machines as back-up  only and                                                               
reminded  the  committee  of the  discussion  during  a  previous                                                               
meeting regarding all the problems  that would be associated with                                                               
those machines if they were to  become the statewide machine.  He                                                               
noted that  people don't have to  prove they need to  use a touch                                                               
screen voting  machine; they can simply  ask to do so.   He said,                                                               
"To the  extent technologically feasible  and to the  extent that                                                               
there's ... federal funding available,  those machines shall be -                                                               
as soon as possible - also  retrofitted to create a paper trail."                                                               
He said  the technology is close;  it will be available  by 2006.                                                               
California will  require that those  machines have a  paper trail                                                               
by 2005.   He explained that  the language in the  bill referring                                                               
to federal  funding being expended  only when available  was used                                                               
so that there would be no fiscal note.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0411                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  if  the  current AccuVote  machines                                                               
would  be  the  default  machines, even  after  the  paper  trail                                                               
additions are made to the [touch screen voting] machines.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  replied  that   even  after  [touch  screen                                                               
voting] machines are  retrofitted with a paper  trail, they still                                                               
would have problems regarding the  computer code; therefore, they                                                               
would be kept  as the secondary machine.  He  noted that in other                                                               
states  there  have  been problems  with  [touch  screen  voting]                                                               
machines.   He revealed that  the only  way to ensure  that these                                                               
machines are  accurate is  to do  a recount  every time  they are                                                               
used.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0533                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ asked  Representative  Gara to  discuss                                                               
access to the software.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  noted that  there  has  been litigation  in                                                               
states that  have used the  [touch screen voting]  machines; when                                                               
people have  tried to call for  a recount, the response  has been                                                               
that there is  no paper trail to  do a recount.  The  only way to                                                               
find  out if  those machines  perform  properly, he  said, is  to                                                               
review the  software code.   However, when  people have  asked to                                                               
see the software code, the  company who produces it has responded                                                               
that it is a trade secret.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  asked,  "And  that  trade  secret  has                                                               
higher legal value than the secrecy of the ballot box?"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  replied that  he doesn't  personally believe                                                               
so,  but [the  company that  owns the  software code]  will argue                                                               
that the  trade secrets  that it  holds are  federally recognized                                                               
and preempt the state's rights in that regard.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked if  there is anything  that would                                                               
contractually prohibit [the State  of Alaska] from getting access                                                               
to that software as part of a purchase agreement.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  suggested that  the company may  just decide                                                               
not to sell the machines, which  would make it difficult for [the                                                               
State  of  Alaska]   to  provide  the  machines   to  those  with                                                               
disabilities.  He suggested asking  that question of the Division                                                               
of Elections.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0650                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH turned to Section  3, [subsection (b), on page 2,                                                               
beginning on line 14], which read as follows:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          (b) Before permitting a voter to vote an                                                                              
     electronically  generated  ballot, the  director  shall                                                                    
     certify that any software  used in creating, recording,                                                                    
     and  counting the  ballot is  reliable and  secure, and                                                                    
     that  any  machine  used in  casting  the  ballot  will                                                                    
     accurately record votes cast.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH explained  that the director has to  go through a                                                               
certification   process  that   he/she  feels   is  legally   and                                                               
technically  reliable.   He said  he doesn't  think the  director                                                               
will  be in  a  position  to be  able  to  certify "without  some                                                               
expertise."   He  continued, "And  they  say, you  know, 'If  you                                                               
won't  let us  do this,  then  we may  not  be able  to use  your                                                               
software, ...  because we  have to  go through  the certification                                                               
process, and I can't do that without that accountability.'"                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  responded, "I don't know  how you'd get                                                               
admission  of  the  evidence  if  you  couldn't  prove  that  the                                                               
software was accurate."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH suggested  there may  have  to be  some sort  of                                                               
confidentiality  agreement  that  is  waived   in  the  event  of                                                               
litigation over the validity of the software.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0713                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA,   in   response   to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative  Seaton,   indicated  that  touch   screen  voting                                                               
machines  are called  DREs  [direct  recording electronic  voting                                                               
machines].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0766                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH informed  the committee  that Laura  Glaiser had                                                               
sent an e-mail  addressing concerns she had,  indicating that she                                                               
wants to confer with the  lieutenant governor's office before the                                                               
House State  Affairs Standing Committee  takes action on  HB 459.                                                               
He invited Ms. Glaiser to testify.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  GLAISER, Director,  Division of  Elections, Office  of the                                                               
Lieutenant  Governor, said  she has  a couple  of concerns:   Her                                                               
first concern, she  related, is how the division  would not allow                                                               
certain  people to  use the  touch screen  voting.   She surmised                                                               
that, since it's  a state law and voter outreach  is done, people                                                               
would  learn that  "there's a  piece of  technology in  a polling                                                               
booth  that they  can't  use."   She clarified  that  she is  not                                                               
saying it can't be done, but  that she is concerned that the poll                                                               
workers will  be "wrestling people  and telling them,  'You can't                                                               
vote on  that machine, you can  only vote on the  other machine -                                                               
that's  the  law.'"   She  said  she  doesn't have  an  immediate                                                               
answer, but it is something that can be addressed.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER  turned to Section  3, regarding having  the director                                                               
certify software.   She  recommended the director  not be  put in                                                               
that   position.     She  suggested   the  term,   "independently                                                               
certified"   might  be   used.     She  mentioned   the  National                                                               
Association of  [State] Election Directors (NASED),  a group that                                                               
has  a "certification  means."   She also  mentioned the  Federal                                                               
Election Commission.   She stated that the division  has the same                                                               
concerns that the committee has  expressed about the software and                                                               
wants everything  certified before it's  used.  She noted  that a                                                               
couple of years  ago "they" changed the software  for the optical                                                               
scan.  She clarified, "The  software that drives the touch screen                                                               
is the  same software that drives  the optical scan.   But, to be                                                               
fair,  the  difference is,  with  optical  scanning, you  have  a                                                               
marked ballot that you can use  to check and counter check."  She                                                               
noted that  the certification  currently takes  place by  the SEC                                                               
[U.S. Securities  and Exchange Commission].   She added,  "If you                                                               
want  an additional  layer, that  may take  some research."   Ms.                                                               
Glaiser clarified  that the  programming of  the software  for an                                                               
election takes  place at the  Division of Elections,  by division                                                               
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0938                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GLAISER turned  to Section  3  [subsection (c),  on page  2,                                                               
beginning on line 18], which read as follows:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          (c) The director shall provide for a paper record                                                                     
     of each electronically generated ballot that can be                                                                        
               (1) reviewed and corrected by the voter at                                                                       
     the time the vote is cast; and                                                                                             
               (2) used for a recount of the votes cast at                                                                      
     an election  in which electronically  generated ballots                                                                    
     were used.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER said she doesn't  know where technology is right now,                                                               
but she explained that the  touch screen machine prints a receipt                                                               
next  to  the voter.    In  response  to  a question  from  Chair                                                               
Weyhrauch, she  confirmed that  the machine  is similar  to those                                                               
used to  check in at  airports.  She added,  "And it would  be an                                                               
addendum to  the machines that  we've already  bought.  ...   You                                                               
have  that port  to be  able to  put ...  additional hardware  on                                                               
there."  She  said the idea is  to keep the receipt  safe so that                                                               
somebody doesn't accidentally pull the  receipt off and put it in                                                               
their  pocket and  walk off;  therefore, [the  receipt] would  be                                                               
generated and then "dropped into its  own box."  She continued as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Our concern,  again, not having  any of  this equipment                                                                    
     before  us  is:    If  you ...  see  it,  it's  already                                                                    
     printed, and then  you say, "Oh no, that  wasn't what I                                                                    
     wanted."   ...   How  do you  get that  piece of  paper                                                                    
     back?   How does it not  get dropped?  Again,  we don't                                                                    
     have the technology  before us.  [I'm]  not saying that                                                                    
     it can't  be done,  but [it]  concerns people  that run                                                                    
     elections -  you know, the  staff that's been  with the                                                                    
     division  for  years.   These  are  the  concerns  that                                                                    
     they've brought up.  How do we get what's best?                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     ...    And if  we're  only  letting the  disabled,  ...                                                                    
     blind, and  visually impaired, then how  do they review                                                                    
     and correct?   Right now,  they believe that  the audio                                                                    
     count -- I mean, as  they ... review the ballot, that's                                                                    
     what happens  for a blind person  is everything's audio                                                                    
     and it goes  through and says, "You cast  this vote for                                                                    
     President,  this vote  for U.S.  Senate, this  vote for                                                                    
     House - would  you like to change any  of those votes?"                                                                    
     And then  it provides  a way  for them  to go  back and                                                                    
     change it.  ...  Are  you asking for another system - a                                                                    
     separate system that gives them  an audio?  Because ...                                                                    
     there's an audio  ... in the current  touch screen that                                                                    
     we have.   Are  you asking  for something  that double-                                                                    
     checks the system?                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER  said she isn't  trying to "creates walls,"  but just                                                               
wants [the  proposed legislation]  to be fair  and true,  so that                                                               
the division doesn't find out after  it becomes law that it can't                                                               
implement  [the provisions],  and  so that  the  new law  doesn't                                                               
block  the  division  from  doing  something  "where  everybody's                                                               
intentions were good."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1078                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ commented that  he experienced a recount                                                               
and appreciated that  all the ballots were there.   He emphasized                                                               
that people shouldn't be able  to identify which ballot came from                                                               
which voter,  but when  there is  an ability to  look at  all the                                                               
ballots, there is  also the ability to recount them.   He offered                                                               
his  understanding  that  that  is   the  gist  of  the  proposed                                                               
legislation; that  there is a  physical record of votes,  so that                                                               
"if all the software fizzes out  and burns up, you've got a piece                                                               
of paper that you can say, 'This is a ballot that was cast.'"                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1128                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON stated  that  he has  a  problem with  the                                                               
point just made by Representative  Berkowitz, because if there is                                                               
software generating an inaccurate  count and an inaccurate ballot                                                               
that is  not reviewed by  anybody, then nothing has  been gained.                                                               
He said,  "I think  that where  everybody's trying  to get  to is                                                               
that if there's questions and  if there's been problems elsewhere                                                               
with the  software generating  ... incorrect  votes -  other than                                                               
what  people  get  on the  screen  -  ...  there  needs to  be  a                                                               
correction point  in there."   He offered his  understanding that                                                               
the reason  that 2006 has  been discussed is that  the technology                                                               
may not be available [until then].                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1187                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH stated  that the  committee wants  to have  some                                                               
practical applications  of what it  does.  He emphasized  that it                                                               
cannot create a mess.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1299                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GLAISER noted  that  Georgia, for  example,  has only  touch                                                               
screens for  voting.   She clarified that  the State  of Alaska's                                                               
Division of Elections has never  planned for "a sweep and replace                                                               
of optical  scans and  the paper  ballots."   She said,  "In this                                                               
state, with  our power and all  the things that can  happen on an                                                               
election day, there will always be a paper ballot available."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER  returned to the  subject of allowing only  the blind                                                               
and handicapped to  use the [touch screen] machine.   She pointed                                                               
out  that  there will  most  likely  only  be  one or  two  votes                                                               
recorded  on  that machine  in  some  polling places,  which  may                                                               
jeopardize the privacy of those votes.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1326                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  related a  story about some  friends of                                                               
his.  He said,  "Apparently, in the last year or  two, there is a                                                               
new law  that helps them  vote.  And they  want to be  sure that,                                                               
pending the  implementation of  this, they  don't lose  the right                                                               
they have acquired under the new law."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1350                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER  stated her  belief that the  language that  has been                                                               
deleted from page 1, Section 1 of  the bill is related to the law                                                               
to  which  Representative  Gruenberg's  friends  referred.    She                                                               
explained that  that was a  piece of legislation carried  by then                                                               
Senator Loran Leman  and Representative Joe Green, in  2002.  She                                                               
said Senator  Leman worked with  Sandy Sanderson and  Lynn Koral.                                                               
Ms.  Glaiser  remarked  that  Ms.  Koral  worked  hard  on  "this                                                               
language."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted  that Section 6 of  the bill would                                                               
make the  bill effective  immediately and  Section 1  repeals the                                                               
present law.   He asked if [the division] would  still legally be                                                               
able to  use the current equipment  if it takes a  period of time                                                               
before the new equipment is ready.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GLAISER responded  that she  is  not an  attorney and  would                                                               
therefore have  to check that answer.   In response to  a comment                                                               
by  Representative Gruenberg  that it  is an  important issue  to                                                               
many  people,  she replied  that  it  is  also important  to  the                                                               
lieutenant governor, which  is why he asked her to  write to "the                                                               
chairman"  to  let  him  know  that  "we"  have  concerns.    She                                                               
indicated  the  importance of  meeting  the  intent of  the  Help                                                               
America  Vote  Act, because  the  funds  that  would be  used  to                                                               
purchase   additional   equipment   are  tied   to   the   proper                                                               
implementation of the federal law.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1390                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  promised, "We'll work  on this bill 'til  we get                                                               
it right."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1404                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked what about the  current system is                                                               
broken, such that  something new, which might  cause problems, is                                                               
being considered.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1414                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER  explained that  the Help  America Vote  Act requires                                                               
that one of  the touch screen machines be in  every polling place                                                               
by 2006.   When that  Act was passed,  the machines had  not been                                                               
tested  in elections  to  drive  other concerns.    She said  she                                                               
decided to  purchase 100  machines to use  in the  2004 elections                                                               
for two reasons:  First, to  make good on an honorable promise to                                                               
the disabled, blind, and visually  impaired, that they could cast                                                               
an  independent ballot.   Second,  to learn  the needs  regarding                                                               
shipping, transport, and storage [before the 2006 deadline].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1485                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  suggested that it  might be worthwhile to  put a                                                               
sunset date on the bill, so that  if HB 459 passes, it would have                                                               
to come back before the legislature next year for fine-tuning.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1505                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GLAISER,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg,  noted  that  in addition  to  the  previously  stated                                                               
reasons for the touch screen machines,  there is also a state law                                                               
in the  books.   She cited AS  15.15.030 [paragraph  (13)], which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     (13) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the                                                                
director may  provide for voting  by use of  electronic balloting                                                               
equipment  or  optically  scanned  ballots  where  the  requisite                                                               
equipment is available.   If the director provides  for voting by                                                               
use  of  electronic  balloting   equipment,  the  director  shall                                                               
provide electronic  balloting equipment  that would  allow voters                                                               
with  disabilities, including  those  who are  blind or  visually                                                               
impaired, to cast private, independent, and verifiable ballots.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked what the  basis is for the federal                                                               
law and what the penalty is if  the State of Alaska does not meet                                                               
the [federal] requirement.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER offered  her understanding that the  intent of having                                                               
[a touch  screen machine] in each  polling place is to  reach the                                                               
blind,  disabled,  and visually  impaired.    She said  the  Help                                                               
America Vote Act was born as  a result of the problems in Florida                                                               
[during the  presidential election  of 2000]  and to  replace the                                                               
punch card  system.  She expressed  that it was never  the intent                                                               
of the  sponsors of the  Help America  Vote Act for  touch screen                                                               
voting machines  to completely replace  [other forms  of voting],                                                               
but  rather  that their  intent  was  to  have one  touch  screen                                                               
machine in every polling place.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked, "How about if  there's a polling                                                               
place that doesn't have a visually impaired voter?"                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER  said that's not addressed  in the federal Act.   She                                                               
said that  as the  division meets  with the  regional supervisors                                                               
and the division  staff, it has those concerns.   She stated that                                                               
[the machines]  will go  out to  rural Alaska,  which is  why she                                                               
wants to  bring them  into use  during the  2004 elections.   She                                                               
commented that  shipping the machines  is like shipping  a laptop                                                               
[computer].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if it  would be a violation of the                                                               
federal Act to limit [the  distribution of touch screen machines]                                                               
to only those precincts in which somebody has requested them.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GLAISER  reiterated  that  she   is  not  an  attorney,  but                                                               
suggested that perhaps some research  could be done on the issue.                                                               
She added  that it's certainly  a reasonable [idea] and  one that                                                               
has been discussed within the division.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1673                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROGER GAY,  testifying on  behalf of  himself, stated  his belief                                                               
that voting  has to be verifiable  for the purpose of  a recount.                                                               
He  said he  doesn't  trust electronics  or programmers,  because                                                               
"they are subject  to all sorts of mischief by  hackers and other                                                               
people with computer skills."  He  opined that paper trails are a                                                               
lot  easier   to  verify  than   electronic  voting.     Mr.  Gay                                                               
recommended that the committee be  cautious in its implementation                                                               
of "this procedure."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1721                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN DAVID  RAGAN told  the committee  that he  is a  Democrat, a                                                               
member of the Laborer's Union  Local 942 in Fairbanks, an Alaskan                                                               
resident since 1975, a firefighter  with the Ester Volunteer Fire                                                               
Department,  and  a former  elected  board  member of  the  Ester                                                               
Community Association.   He noted  that he  is also a  writer for                                                               
the Fairbanks  area's progressive newspaper, The  Ester Republic.                                                             
He read a selection from an  article he wrote in that publication                                                               
[available in  the committee  packet], regarding  the controversy                                                               
surrounding the electronic voting machines.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1822                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. RAGAN  characterized as most  troubling of all an  article by                                                               
Thom Hartmann  entitled, "If  You Want To  Win An  Election, Just                                                               
Control  The Voting  Machines."   The article,  he said,  reports                                                               
that  the respective  Washington D.C.  publication, The  Hill has                                                             
confirmed  "that  former  conservative  talk-show  host  and  now                                                               
Republican  U.S.  Senator Chuck  Hagel  was  [the] head  of,  and                                                               
continues  to own  part interest  in, the  company that  owns the                                                               
company that  installed, programmed,  and largely ran  the voting                                                               
machines that  were used  by most of  the citizens  of Nebraska."                                                               
He continued as follows:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      The article says that when Hagel first ran there for                                                                      
        the U.S. Senate in 1996, his company's computer-                                                                        
     controlled  voting  machine  showed he'd  won  stunning                                                                    
     upsets in  both the  primary and the  general election.                                                                    
     The  Washington   Post  said  Hagel's   Senate  victory                                                                  
     against  the  incumbent  Democratic  governor  was  the                                                                    
     major Republican upset in the November election.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     According  to  Bev  Harris  of  www.blackboxvoting.com,                                                                    
     Hagel won virtually  every demographic group, including                                                                    
     many  large Black  communities  that  had never  before                                                                    
     voted Republican.   Hagel was  the first  Republican in                                                                    
     24 years  to win  a Senate seat  in Nebraska.   Hartman                                                                    
     says that six  years later, Hagel ran again  and won in                                                                    
     a  landslide.   About 80  percent of  those votes  were                                                                    
     counted by  computer-controlled voting machines  put in                                                                    
     place by  the company  affiliated with Hagel,  built by                                                                    
     that company, programmed  by that company.   "This is a                                                                    
     big  story  - bigger  than  Watergate  ever was,"  said                                                                    
     Hagel's Democratic  opponent in  the 2002  Senate race,                                                                    
     Charlie Matulka.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1877                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. RAGAN  said the article  goes on to detail  election problems                                                               
in Georgia.   He said he  has citations of all  the articles that                                                               
he  quoted.   He clarified,  "This is  part of  a larger  article                                                               
which discusses the lawsuit brought  by the [National Association                                                               
for  the Advancement  of  Colored People]  (NAACP)  and the  U.S.                                                               
Commission on  Civil Rights  in the  2000 elections,  against the                                                               
Florida  secretary of  state's  office  - which  they  won."   He                                                               
explained that the article details  that in the Florida election,                                                               
nearly   200,000   qualified    Democratic   voters   had   their                                                               
constitutional  rights to  vote  in the  election denied  through                                                               
"purges" of  the voting records  and "a number of  other tactics"                                                               
that were  declared illegal after  the election.  He  stated that                                                               
millions of  Democrats believe that  President Bush is  in office                                                               
due to  a rigged  election in  Florida.  He  opined that  if that                                                               
election looks  bad, the next  one will "really look  bad," given                                                               
the allegations against  the computer-controlled voting machines.                                                               
He explained  that "this information" has  been widely circulated                                                               
on  the Internet,  as well  as to  all members  of the  "Interior                                                               
Democrats."   He  offered his  understanding that  there probably                                                               
will be  litigations and  challenges in  every election  in which                                                               
these voting machines  are used.  He said he  thinks that people,                                                               
no  matter their  party affiliation,  have the  responsibility to                                                               
ensure that the voting system  is absolutely transparent and that                                                               
there's  no  question  that  the  vote  is  being  programmed  or                                                               
tampered with.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1968                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RAGAN noted  that there  already exists  an optical  scanner                                                               
system.  He concluded as follows:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     If we're  going to  use these electronic  machines, the                                                                    
     central point  is:   ... There must  be a  paper ballot                                                                    
     generated;  it  must  be verifiable  by  the  voter  as                                                                    
     corresponding to  the election  vote and ended  by that                                                                    
     voter; the paper  ballot must be the  legal ballot, for                                                                    
     purposes  of a  recount; and,  in every  election, even                                                                    
     when there's  no recount, there  must be  random checks                                                                    
     of at  least five  percent of  the precincts  to ensure                                                                    
     that  the paper  ballots  generated  by the  electronic                                                                    
     machine correspond  to the number  of votes  counted in                                                                    
     that precinct by the electronic machine.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2022                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN   asked  Mr.   Ragan  to  define   the  word                                                               
"progressive," which he noted Mr. Ragan used in his testimony.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RAGAN  offered  his   understanding  that  "progressive"  is                                                               
currently used by the Democratic  party to correspond to the left                                                               
wing of that party, which sees  itself as continuing the New Deal                                                               
and the  progressive movement  in the  Midwest and  in Democratic                                                               
politics.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2073                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  expressed   that   he  doesn't   want                                                               
anybody's  political views  to influence  the factual  statements                                                               
that Mr.  Ragan made.   He  said if there  are problems  with the                                                               
machines,  they  are  problems,  no matter  how  a  person  casts                                                               
his/her vote.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2099                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LYNN  KORAL, testifying  on behalf  of Alaska  Independent Blind,                                                               
told the  committee that  she appreciates  "the problem  with the                                                               
machine," but she also doesn't  want the legislature to break the                                                               
promise it  made to the  blind and disabled  population regarding                                                               
voting machines.  She explained  that Alaska Independent Blind is                                                               
a grass roots advocacy organization  that fought hard to have the                                                               
electronic machines.  She indicated  that the late Frank Haas had                                                               
worked  to get  access to  the voting  ballot, but  that did  not                                                               
occur before his death.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. KORAL  agreed that  there can be  problems with  hackers, but                                                               
she  said  previous testifiers  helped  make  her point,  because                                                               
"there  certainly wasn't  any guarantee  with the  paper ballot."                                                               
She reiterated  that she  wants to know  that the  legislature is                                                               
not going to break its promise.   She said, "We've waited far too                                                               
long, ... and I think it's  about time that you start allowing us                                                               
to vote  independently, secretly, and verifiably,  so that people                                                               
can't judge us by the votes we cast."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2140                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked Ms. Koral to  explain what she meant by the                                                               
promise made by the legislature.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KORAL explained that it's  a promise that [Alaska Independent                                                               
Blind] believes the legislature made when  it passed HB 320.  She                                                               
noted that Frank Haas was a  Republican who died in 1990, and she                                                               
said  he had  wanted private,  verifiable balloting,  "especially                                                               
because we're a  small state."  She said, "It's  a promise that I                                                               
believe you  will break if  you delay this implementation  of the                                                               
Help America Vote Act and the Frank  Haas Act."  In response to a                                                               
question  from Chair  Weyhrauch,  she explained  that [the  Frank                                                               
Haas Act] is Alaska State law.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2185                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said the  bill "eliminates  that language"                                                               
in Section  1, but reinstates  it in  another Section on  page 2,                                                               
beginning  on line  10.   He explained,  "It wouldn't  change the                                                               
status of that law at all."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. KORAL asked why the language was moved.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH explained  that it  was moved  around to  try to                                                               
implement  the  provisions  of  the bill  to  make  any  software                                                               
associated  with electronic  voting verifiable  by the  division.                                                               
He explained that  it was more of a drafting  issue than a policy                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KORAL asked,  "How am  I going  to verify  it in  the voting                                                               
booth as a blind person?"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH responded, "Well, you wouldn't."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KORAL asked, "What are you going to do about that?"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH told  Ms. Koral that the committee  is working on                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2233                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  stated the  whole intent of  the bill  is to                                                               
say,  "While we're  a  little bit  worried  about the  technology                                                               
associated with  the [touch screen voting]  machines, we're going                                                               
to leave  the other  machines as the  default machine  for people                                                               
who don't have  visual impairments."  He  emphasized that there's                                                               
no intention  to delay  the implementation  of the  [touch screen                                                               
voting] machines; they will be available in the 2004 election.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. KORAL said she wants to  know that others understand that "if                                                               
we have to  verify the ballot, it doesn't mean  that somebody has                                                               
to be  there in the  voting booth to  verify it with  us, because                                                               
obviously ... I'm  not going to be able to  read paper unless you                                                               
have a scanner in there with me."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  responded  that  that's  fair.    He  said,                                                               
"Actually, you  don't have to  verify the  ballot.  You'll  get a                                                               
paper ballot,  and whether you  want to have somebody  there with                                                               
you to verify it or not - that's totally up to you."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2370                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JIM  SYKES testified  that he  has been  involved in  many voting                                                               
issues in the  last 14 years, and he has  "made" his professional                                                               
life in the area of technology - mainly with audio and video.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-50, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2375                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SYKES said new technologies  generally have some "down sides"                                                               
that are  not always  considered and, until  the bugs  are worked                                                               
out, the  technology can actually  be detrimental in  some cases.                                                               
He said  this is what concerns  him about electronic voting.   He                                                               
noted that he  has had many discussions with the  director of the                                                               
Division  of Elections  since December,  regarding many  articles                                                               
and problems that have arisen "with these varying machines."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SYKES agreed  with the  previous  comments of  Mr. Gay  that                                                               
there needs  to be  a paper  trail.  He  opined that  an election                                                               
needs  to be  auditable; there  has to  be a  way of  proving the                                                               
vote.   He said, "If  a machine spits  out a result,  someone can                                                               
say, 'Well, the  machine has given us the result.'   But there is                                                               
no way  to prove one way  or the other  if that is the  result of                                                               
what  the voter  intended."   He revealed  that he  is neither  a                                                               
Democrat  nor  a   Republican,  but  he  wants   to  ensure  that                                                               
everybody's vote counts.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. SYKES stated  he was disturbed about a  previous comment made                                                               
by Representative  Berkowitz.  He offered  his understanding that                                                               
Representative Berkowitz had  said that it isn't  important to be                                                               
able to have  the voter verify his/her ballot.   He admitted that                                                               
perhaps  he had  misunderstood.   Mr.  Sykes said,  "We have  the                                                               
optical scan  ballot - the AccuVote;  you can take a  look at the                                                               
ballot  and   verify  those."     He  stated  his   concern  with                                                               
implementing a  technology that is  not proven and  not auditable                                                               
"for anybody, regardless of whether it  is the blind or not."  He                                                               
said it's risky  and "we oughtn't go there."   However, he stated                                                               
his belief that technology offers a solution.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SYKES continued as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     If we're going  to use these machines, there  can be an                                                                    
     audio playback for  the ballot for a  blind person that                                                                    
     votes on [a]  touch screen.  There's  also technology -                                                                    
     and it's  easily available -  to print out  the results                                                                    
     of  the  ballot in  Braille,  so  that the  person  can                                                                    
     independently verify - without  the presence of another                                                                    
     person in the voting booth -  that this is the way they                                                                    
     cast  their vote.    And  that's the  way  that can  be                                                                    
     verified:   you've got audio;  you've got  Braille; and                                                                    
     the paper ballot is generated.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     This must  be a  requirement before these  machines can                                                                    
     be used,  in my opinion,  because how are you  going to                                                                    
     offer equal  protection?  Let's say,  for example, that                                                                    
     someone  cast  their  vote  on  ...  the  touch  screen                                                                    
     machines  and the  vote is  in  question.   How do  you                                                                    
     prove the vote,  unless you can audit that?   I believe                                                                    
     that the suggestion  that you recount 5  percent of the                                                                    
     precincts  - or  perhaps even  10 percent  - is  a good                                                                    
     one.  This  should be done with  the AccuVote machines,                                                                    
     as  well.     Currently,   only  three   precincts  are                                                                    
     recounted.   The AccuVote machines  can also  be hacked                                                                    
     and that's another issue for another bill.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SYKES  encouraged the  committee to  require that  a printout                                                               
can be  independently verified by  the voter on the  touch screen                                                               
machines, and to ensure that there  is a paper trail in the event                                                               
of  a recount.   He  stated that  he doesn't  want anyone  who is                                                               
visually impaired  and uses one  of the touch screen  machines to                                                               
have his/her rights violated by  a machine that might be tampered                                                               
with or  might not  be recording the  vote appropriately,  as has                                                               
been  demonstrated in  other states.   He  expressed appreciation                                                               
for the  committee's consideration  of the bill.   He  noted that                                                               
the federal  law doesn't have  to be implemented until  2006, and                                                               
he  opined that  [the division]  should accommodate  as early  an                                                               
implementation   as  possible,   but  not   at  the   expense  of                                                               
questioning anybody's vote.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2210                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ [regarding  Mr. Sykes' interpretation of                                                               
what he  had previously  stated] clarified  that what  he doesn't                                                               
want is for the state to  have access to his individual ballot to                                                               
verify how he  votes, for example.  He said,  "It's one thing for                                                               
me to  be able to  look at my ballot  and determine that  ... the                                                               
vote is  recorded the way I  want to do  it, but I think  it's an                                                               
entirely separate thing  for the state to be able  to come in and                                                               
look at individual  voters and say they voted  accurately or they                                                               
didn't vote accurately."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.    SYKES   thanked    Representative   Berkowitz    for   his                                                               
clarification.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2179                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GLAISER,   for  purposes  of  clarification,   informed  the                                                               
committee that the current touch  screen does have a tape running                                                               
inside which  records the votes.   She said she  understands "all                                                               
the nuances"  and where the  concerns are regarding  problems and                                                               
hacking.  She continued as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     But just so you know what  the machines really do:  ...                                                                    
     By taking  that card with  the chip  in it out  of each                                                                    
     individual   machine   that's   been  locked   up   and                                                                    
     reinserting it in the  GEMS [Global Election Management                                                                    
     System]  computer here,  a ballot  can be  printed from                                                                    
     that card.  Again, I'm  not saying that you still don't                                                                    
     have concerns, but I want you  to know that there is an                                                                    
     auditable  trail  that  was  required  by  the  federal                                                                    
     government.    The machines  we  have  do meet  federal                                                                    
     certification.    That  may not  address  all  of  your                                                                    
     concerns, but I  just want to be real fair  so that you                                                                    
     all understand  ... what the system's  capable of doing                                                                    
     - that  it does have an  auditable trail now.   It does                                                                    
     allow a blind or visually  impaired person - through an                                                                    
     audio - to  verify that, yes, that is  that ballot they                                                                    
     want to cast.  Our current system does that.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2126                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  mentioned a bill by  Congressman [Rush]                                                               
Holt.   He  said he  wonders what  the status  is regarding  that                                                               
bill.    He observed  that  that  bill  seems  to have  a  fairly                                                               
detailed description  of voter  verification and  audit capacity,                                                               
"which goes to what I think is  the heart of what we're trying to                                                               
get at here."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2112                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GLAISER  responded  that  she has  not  received  an  update                                                               
regarding that piece of legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2098                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  is concerned after listening to                                                               
the  testimony  from both  hearings  on  HB  459  thus far.    He                                                               
continued as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I have  heard nothing good  about this system,  no good                                                                    
     policy  reason  for  implementing   it,  a  large  cost                                                                    
     involved, possible  fraud.  I  am not unmindful  of the                                                                    
     quite important U.S. Senate race  that is coming up and                                                                    
     the  effect this  might have  on ...  the integrity  of                                                                    
     that race.   And I have yet to be  convinced that there                                                                    
     is, in  fact, a  legal requirement that  we do  it, and                                                                    
     the penalties  if we  don't do  it -  particularly this                                                                    
     next election.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     And  I ...  would  request that  the  committee seek  a                                                                    
     legal  opinion  on  this  issue   and  ...  maybe  from                                                                    
     [Legislative  Legal  and  Research Services],  a  quick                                                                    
     audit of the problems  that they've had, because unless                                                                    
     this  Representative is  convinced that  we must  do it                                                                    
     and -  number two  - that  this is  not going  to cause                                                                    
     more problems  than it  will fix,  I can't  support ...                                                                    
     the whole concept of this thing.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. GLAISER stated  her belief that the promise  to the disabled,                                                               
blind,  and  visually impaired  is  the  part that  really  drove                                                               
everybody's hearts on the implementation  of "this," certainly in                                                               
Alaska, but  also in the  federal legislation.  She  said, "We're                                                               
trying  to find  a way  to  make it  work  so that  we can  still                                                               
protect the integrity of elections."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2026                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON stated he has  a problem with the idea that                                                               
there may  be only two  or three people  in a community  who [use                                                               
the touch  screens] to vote.   He said a  report of what  is done                                                               
will be made  and "all of a  sudden we have a way  of knowing how                                                               
... those three  people that were blind in  that district voted."                                                               
He said that if the  legislature is building enough safeguards in                                                               
[the  proposed  legislation]  to  make   it  work  so  that  it's                                                               
verifiable and  there's a paper  trail, he is concerned  that the                                                               
legislature also make  it so that "everybody else has  to use the                                                               
other system."   He said he would like the  committee to consider                                                               
that as it continues forward with the bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1974                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  said, "When issues  touch across  our democratic                                                               
spectrum  of politics,  it effects  all  [of] us,  and we're  all                                                               
interested  in  ensuring a  fundamentally  fair  and safe  voting                                                               
process."  He said he gets  offended when people attach some sort                                                               
of political motive to "this."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1933                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  returned to Ms. Glaiser's  previously stated                                                               
concern  about  the  provision  in  the  bill  stating  that  the                                                               
software code  has to be  verified for accuracy by  the director.                                                               
He  explained  that  "director" means  the  director  or  his/her                                                               
designee, as long  as the director gives the final  approval.  He                                                               
suggested an amendment could be made to that effect.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  responded to a previously  expressed concern                                                               
regarding how a voter would prove  that he/she is entitled to use                                                               
these machines.   He  said he  doesn't want  somebody to  have to                                                               
show  proof,  that  essentially  they  just  have  to  ask.    He                                                               
suggested that  an option  for the  division would  be to  have a                                                               
form  that would  certify  that somebody  has  a disability  that                                                               
requires  them to  use the  touch screen  machine.   He said  Ms.                                                               
Glaiser estimated that there won't  be that many people using the                                                               
machines.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA noted  that Ms.  Glaiser had  said that  the                                                               
software that  is used now  is the same  as the software  that is                                                               
used in  touch screen machines.   He  clarified that part  of the                                                               
software is the  same, while part is not.   He explained that the                                                               
current machines don't  have software that tells  the machine how                                                               
to  "translate what  somebody touches  into an  internal computer                                                               
vote."   He  said that's  the  part that  people have  complained                                                               
about  nationwide  regarding  the  DRE  machines.    The  optical                                                               
scanning  machine tells  the  machine how  to  translate what  it                                                               
scans on a paper ballot.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1855                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA, in  response to  previous comments  made by                                                               
Representative Seaton,  stated that  the technology is  not there                                                               
right now.   He said  there's one  company that produces  a paper                                                               
record  "right there  for  the  voter."   He  clarified that  Ms.                                                               
Glaiser  spoke about  the  fact  that "we"  have  a machine  that                                                               
doesn't produce the  paper record right there for  the voter, but                                                               
produces  it  for  the  Division  of  Elections  later  on.    He                                                               
continued as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Ultimately, in a number of  years, if everybody becomes                                                                    
     comfortable with  these DRE  machines and  the glitches                                                                    
     are worked  out, ... maybe  they do become  the default                                                                    
     machine.   Right  now, if  you read  the articles,  the                                                                    
     part  of the  software that  translates the  thing that                                                                    
     you  touch to  an  actual vote  inside  the machine  is                                                                    
     manipulatable.   And people have questions  about these                                                                    
     machines.   And, even  if they  produce a  paper ballot                                                                    
     for  you  as  you're  sitting there  -  let's  say  the                                                                    
     election  is over  and  the  machine has  "misrecorded"                                                                    
     every tenth  vote ...  - the only  way the  paper trail                                                                    
     helps  you is  if you  then do  the recount.   ...   We                                                                    
     don't  want  to  have  to do  a  recount  every  single                                                                    
     election.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I  would  say  that,  for now,  we  know  the  AccuVote                                                                    
     machines  work   very  well.    Let's   make  the  DREs                                                                    
     available   to  people   with   handicaps  and   visual                                                                    
     impairments.   Let's  leave the  other  as the  default                                                                    
     machine  and,   if  some  day  the   facts  change  and                                                                    
     everybody becomes  very comfortable with the  DREs with                                                                    
     the paper trail, then we  can authorize the Division of                                                                    
     Elections to  go ahead  and make  that ...  the default                                                                    
     machine.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1770                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH announced  that HB  459 was  [heard and                                                               
held].                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 547-PFD: DELAY PAYMENT FOR ALLOWABLE ABSENCES                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1748                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the next  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  547,  "An  Act relating  to  the  dividends  of                                                               
individuals  claiming allowable  absences; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1723                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  stated his  support  of  HB 547.    He                                                               
stated for  the record  that his  recollection from  his previous                                                               
term as  legislator was that  a bill  had to be  noticed [through                                                               
the Chief  Clerk's office]  by the  bill name  and number.   That                                                               
notice had  to be made on  the Thursday before the  week in which                                                               
the  bill would  be  heard.   He said  he  understands that's  no                                                               
longer  the requirement  and that,  currently,  only the  subject                                                               
matter has  to be noticed.   He said,  "I'm just calling  that to                                                               
the  committee's   attention,  because   in  the  final   days  -                                                               
particularly  in the  second session  - it's  important that  the                                                               
public be fully aware of what we're dealing with.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH concurred.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1680                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS KNIGHT,  Staff to Representative Paul  Seaton, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  introduced  HB  547  on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Seaton, sponsor.   He indicated that most people know  a story of                                                               
someone who has  committed fraud when applying  for the permanent                                                               
fund dividend  (PFD).   He revealed  that in  2000, approximately                                                               
$30  million left  the State  of Alaska  in PFDs  paid to  people                                                               
living outside of  the state.  He noted that  the legislature has                                                               
set up  a guideline for allowable  absences from the state  and a                                                               
detailed list  of those  allowable absences  is in  the committee                                                               
packet.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNIGHT  said the  proposed legislation  would not  change the                                                               
current  system of  allowable absences.   He  indicated that  the                                                               
intention of  the bill is  to get people  to come back  to Alaska                                                               
and to "remove this ... thought  that there might be fraud of the                                                               
PFD  application  or   the  distribution  of  [the]   PFD."    He                                                               
explained,  "The thought  was that  if  we created  some sort  of                                                               
structural change,  in the  sense that if  you have  an allowable                                                               
absence and  you return to the  state and actually spend  time in                                                               
the  state,  then  you  could  receive your  PFD."    Mr.  Knight                                                               
indicated that HB  547 may reduce that amount of  claims that the                                                               
Permanent  Fund Dividend  Division has,  which would  potentially                                                               
result in putting money back into the state's economy.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1574                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   clarified  that  the  bill   takes  most                                                               
allowable absences and "has the  person return to the state [and]                                                               
reestablish residency  after that allowable absence,  before they                                                               
receive  the past  dividend ...  that  they qualified  for."   He                                                               
asked Mr.  Knight to  indicate which  allowable absences  are not                                                               
included in HB 547.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNIGHT  noted that  members of Congress  are not  included in                                                               
the  bill as  those who  qualify for  an allowable  absence.   He                                                               
said,  "Mainly, the  absences we  were trying  to capture  within                                                               
this bill are people that leave  for college."  He related having                                                               
been one of eight or nine  men who attended college out of state.                                                               
He  noted that  he and  one other  man returned  to Alaska  after                                                               
school,  while the  rest  did  not.   He  predicted  that if  the                                                               
dividends  [had been  held until  their return],  those who  took                                                               
jobs in  the Lower 48 would  probably have returned to  Alaska to                                                               
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said, "This  doesn't apply to  the 180-day                                                               
absence  that anybody  is entitled  to, so  it doesn't  interfere                                                               
there.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1472                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  asked how  [HB  547]  would relate  to  the                                                               
military.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KNIGHT answered  that,  currently,  military personnel  [who                                                               
claim Alaska  residency and file  for a  PFD] must return  to the                                                               
state  for   72  hours,  every   two  years.    He   offered  his                                                               
understanding that a military person  who lives in Alaska for two                                                               
years  and is  then transferred  to, for  instance, Oklahoma  can                                                               
receive  his/her dividend  for 10  more  years, as  long as  that                                                               
person's intent  is to move  back to  Alaska, and if  that person                                                               
meets the  requirement of  returning to the  state for  72 hours,                                                               
every two  years.   He concluded,  "So, realistically,  we're not                                                               
changing  the  eligibility  requirements whatsoever;  we're  just                                                               
making it clear  that if you are  going to live in  the state and                                                               
you're going to continue to claim  to be a resident of the state,                                                               
then you'll receive your dividend."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1413                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN pointed  out that  no one  knows how  long a                                                               
military assignment might be.  A  person may be assigned for four                                                               
years and may  not be able to  afford to come back  for 72 hours.                                                               
He  noted that  that's particularly  true for  the lower  ranking                                                               
individuals.  He said it's an area that concerns him.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNIGHT  revealed that he  had previously worked in  an office                                                               
that  sent out  a quarterly  publication detailing  how a  person                                                               
could continue  to be eligible for  the PFD while serving  in the                                                               
military.   For example, he  noted, when not involved  in combat,                                                               
most people  have access to cargo  planes back to the  states, in                                                               
order to  meet the  72-hour requirement.   He  noted that  HB 547                                                               
would not  change that process.   He added, "The only  thing that                                                               
changes is  that if  you have  no intention  of returning  to the                                                               
state within 10  years, you're going to lose  all your dividends,                                                               
which is  also current statute,  except that you're not  going to                                                               
be  paid your  dividends  until  you actually  come  back to  the                                                               
state."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1270                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON revealed  that the  idea for  HB 547  came                                                               
from a  military person  who is  in the U.S.  Coast Guard  and is                                                               
disturbed  that  many  members  that   he  served  with  have  no                                                               
intention  of coming  back.   He said  the man  would think  that                                                               
receiving six or  eight held back PFDs upon his  return to Alaska                                                               
would serve  as a great  nest egg.  He  stated that the  point of                                                               
the  proposed legislation  is to  make people  who say  they will                                                               
come back  to the state  actually do  so before they  can receive                                                               
their held dividends.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1181                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  said people  have related  to him  that they                                                               
know  a lot  of  people  [in the  military]  who  never have  any                                                               
intention of  staying in Alaska,  but still  accept the PFD.   He                                                               
noted that  he was also  told that  Alaska is the  most asked-for                                                               
place to  go, by military people,  because of the PFD.   He noted                                                               
that  military  people  with large  families  can  augment  their                                                               
incomes in this manner.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1080                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON mentioned the  "brain drain" [Alaska losing                                                               
people to  other states].  He  suggested that the nest  egg [PFDs                                                               
held  back  while people  are  out  of  state]  would be  a  good                                                               
incentive to  people to return  to the state.   He added  that he                                                               
hasn't seen anything else that has the potential for doing that.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1040                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL DICK, Chief, PFD Operations,  Central Office, Permanent Fund                                                               
Dividend Division,  Department of  Revenue, testifying  on behalf                                                               
of the  division, noted that the  largest group of people  on the                                                               
180-day   allowable  absence   are  the   spouses  and   children                                                               
accompanying   either  military   personnel,  predominately,   or                                                               
students.   He  said there  have been  comments made  about these                                                               
people  reestablishing residency  upon  their  return to  Alaska;                                                               
however,  Mr.   Dick  clarified   that  they  never   lost  their                                                               
residency, and it's just a matter  of them coming back to live in                                                               
Alaska.   They are  eligible for the  dividend because  they have                                                               
maintained their  residency during the  period of time  [in which                                                               
they were out of the state].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0973                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  referred to  a handout  in the  committee packet                                                               
entitled, "Why Applicants Were Absent  From the State."  He noted                                                               
that the  total for students enrolled  full-time in postsecondary                                                               
education is 5,365.  He asked  if that number has grown over time                                                               
or remains  stable, and how  much the  bulk payout would  be when                                                               
those students return.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0950                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. DICK  answered that there is  not a dramatic growth  in those                                                               
numbers.  He stated that the  amount they would get when they get                                                               
back would  obviously be dependent  on how much the  dividend was                                                               
for each  year.  In response  to a follow-up question  from Chair                                                               
Weyhrauch,  he said  [the  division] has  not  analyzed how  many                                                               
years students  are out of the  state; however, he said  he would                                                               
assume that students would be out for four years.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0905                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  asked what  percent of  the PFDs  are mailed                                                               
out of the state each year.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. DICK said  he doesn't know the percentage, but  18,000 is the                                                               
total  number of  PFDs  mailed  [out of  state]  out the  620,000                                                               
applicants.   He noted  that approximately  $20 million  was sent                                                               
out of state last year.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0863                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG opined, "If  you have these figures, you                                                               
ought to be able  to break down the raw data  for us."  Referring                                                               
to  the  most recently  mentioned  handout,  he noted  that  "the                                                               
largest  category  are  people who  have  accompanied  an  Alaska                                                               
resident who's eligible  for a PFD."  He asked  if [the division]                                                               
can break  down who  the Alaska residents  are that  these people                                                               
are accompanying to show whether  they are students, or military,                                                               
or other.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. DICK  said that it would  be possible to conduct  a study for                                                               
that information.  In response  to a question from Representative                                                               
Gruenberg,  he  said he  believes  "the  numbers would  come  out                                                               
showing  that they  are mostly  military,  particularly with  the                                                               
children."      In   response   to   follow-up   questions   from                                                               
Representative Gruenberg, he said  the full-time student category                                                               
would be  adults in a  post-secondary education.  He  stated that                                                               
adults have  to have their  own eligibility.   Full-time students                                                               
enrolled in  grades 7-12, he  confirmed, would  predominately not                                                               
be accompanying their parents.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked how  long the  various categories                                                               
remained out of state and how many people eventually returned.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. DICK said he believes those numbers could be found.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  thinks this is information that                                                               
he would  like.  He  offered to work with  Mr. Dick to  arrive at                                                               
the best questions to ask.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DICK,   in  response  to  a   question  from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, said  he could not pin  down a time in  which he would                                                               
have  that information,  but he  said [the  division] would  work                                                               
diligently to get it.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0660                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  asked what the  tax implication might  be of                                                               
extending payments for  years.  He said he would  assume that the                                                               
tax would be  greater on the individual payments,  rather than on                                                               
a grouping of payments.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  noted  that Alaska  loves  having  military                                                               
here.   Notwithstanding  that, he  observed that  it is  somewhat                                                               
curious that Alaska,  as a state, has chosen  to participate [in]                                                               
greater  payment of  the military  than the  other 49  states, by                                                               
virtue of  the PFD.   He  said he  thinks the  legislature should                                                               
think about those things.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0562                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON offered  his understanding  that there  is                                                               
currently a  program where if someone  dies, the PFD is  in trust                                                               
in his or her estate for a certain  amount of time.  He said, "We                                                               
have ..., basically, the same kind  of a program of holding those                                                               
checks.  Do we have that for any other categories, as well?"                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DICK  answered, "We  would just hold  that dividend  for that                                                               
one  year  only,  and  once  we're  notified  that  the  person's                                                               
deceased, we  would ... put  the check 'to  the estate of'."   He                                                               
clarified that in that circumstance,  PFD checks are not held for                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked if  there  is  any circumstance  of                                                               
disputed checks, for example, where  the [PFD] checks are held in                                                               
abeyance until administrative processes go forward.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. DICK replied that there is  a denial and appeal process where                                                               
a dividend would  be pended until it's  adjudicated and resolved.                                                               
He stated  that [the division]  has those resolved within  a year                                                               
of the application deadline.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0471                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH indicated that in  some cases, the Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court has been  involved in those disputes.  He  said, "You still                                                               
hold the check during the pendency of those litigations."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. DICK concurred.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0445                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SHARON BARTON, Director, Central  Office, Permanent Fund Dividend                                                               
Division, Department of Revenue, added  that when a child reaches                                                               
the age  of 18,  if the  parents or guardian  have not  filed for                                                               
him/her over the  years, they can, at that point,  file for prior                                                               
year dividends.  She said  [the division] reserves an estimate of                                                               
that amount of money each year for that purpose.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested a work group  or subcommittee                                                               
be  formed  to  get  the  information  from  [the  aforementioned                                                               
testifiers] as efficiently as possible.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH said Mr. Knight would arrange that.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
[HB 547 was heard and held.]                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 132-AG INTERVENE IN NATURAL RESOURCES ACTIONS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0360                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the last  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  132,  "An  Act relating  to  the  duties of  the                                                               
attorney general;  requiring the attorney general  to participate                                                               
in all actions  affecting the management and  jurisdiction of the                                                               
natural  resources  of the  state;  amending  Rule 24(c),  Alaska                                                               
Rules of Civil Procedure; and  amending Rule 514, Alaska Rules of                                                               
Appellate Procedure."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0348                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to adopt  the committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) for  HB 132, Version  23-LS0541\H, Luckhaupt, 3/25/04,  as a                                                               
work draft.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected for discussion  purposes.  He noted that                                                               
Version H included  changes suggested by the  testifiers from the                                                               
Office of  the Attorney General  at the  prior hearing of  HB 132                                                               
[on  3/24/04].   Chair Weyhrauch  indicated that  paragraph (10),                                                               
under the old bill, was moved  [in part] under paragraph (7), and                                                               
a  new [subparagraph  (C)] was  created so  that the  legislature                                                               
would know about these cases.  He continued as follows:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     And  then there's  both a  substantive discussion  that                                                                    
     took place or a political  debate that could take place                                                                    
     between the  ... executive  branch and  the legislative                                                                    
     branch, to  get the attorney general  to involve itself                                                                    
     in  these   cases  if  the  legislature   felt  it  was                                                                    
     important  enough   to  do   so,  either   [through]  a                                                                    
     political  process,   discussions  with   the  attorney                                                                    
     general or the executive  branch, or through passage of                                                                    
     a resolution.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH asked  a  representative of  the  Office of  the                                                               
Attorney  General   what  the  department's  position   might  be                                                               
regarding Version H.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0225                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAVID W.  MARQUEZ, Chief Assistant Attorney  General, Legislation                                                               
&   Regulations  Section,   Office  of   the  Attorney   General,                                                               
Department  of  Law,  in  response   to  a  question  from  Chair                                                               
Weyhrauch, stated  that the  department has  no objection  to the                                                               
bill as restructured in [Version H].                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  revealed  that  he had  asked  the  Alaska  Bar                                                               
Association  to  look  at  "this provision,"  and  they  did  not                                                               
perceive any problem with it,  either ethically or substantively.                                                               
He told the committee members that  they would find a copy of the                                                               
e-mailed  response  from  Steve  Van Goor  of  the  [Alaska  Bar]                                                               
Association in the committee packets.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0176                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  turned attention to the  language added to                                                               
the bottom  of page 2,  beginning on  line 31, and  continuing to                                                               
page 3, line 1, which read as follows:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     , or (2) the state's management or jurisdiction of the                                                                 
     natural resources of the state may be affected,                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked  if that would include  all "fish and                                                               
game-related  cases."   He clarified  that he  meant cases  where                                                               
there's  any challenge  to the  management.   He said  he doesn't                                                               
think that's  the intent of the  bill, but he just  wants to make                                                               
sure.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH responded  that there are many  issues related to                                                               
the  business  end of  a  fishing  activity,  which result  in  a                                                               
management decision but have to  do more with a contractual issue                                                               
related  to the  harvest.   He  stated that  disputes related  to                                                               
fishermen or other practical applications  of a fishery would not                                                               
be the  kind of  disputes "this amendment  envisions."   He said,                                                               
"Instead, it would  be whether the state -  the actual management                                                               
or jurisdiction of  the resource, which is a  plenary function of                                                               
the state under our constitution - would be an issue."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-51, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0048                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARQUEZ,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Seaton regarding the aforementioned  language added in Section 2,                                                               
explained that  litigants will be  the ones creating  the notice,                                                               
so it's  possible that more notices  would be filed and  given to                                                               
the attorney general.  He stated  that the Office of the Attorney                                                               
General has limited  resources and there may be a  lot of notices                                                               
given  that won't  present the  right facts  or will  be about  a                                                               
different type  of dispute.   He noted  that the office  has very                                                               
rarely  gotten into  disputes of  private litigants.   He  stated                                                               
that he  is not  too worried  about the  wording of  [Section 2],                                                               
because the office will still  have discretion [over] which suits                                                               
it will (indisc.).                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0112                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  told Representative Seaton that  Version H added                                                               
the word "state's"  from the original bill to make  it clear that                                                           
it  was  the state's  management  and  jurisdiction that  was  an                                                               
issue.  He continued as follows:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Also,  when  you  have  an   allocation  dispute  or  a                                                                    
     decision by  the Board of  Fisheries that's  subject to                                                                    
     litigation,  the   State  of   Alaska,  the   Board  of                                                                    
     [Fisheries], or  the commissioner is always  named as a                                                                    
     party.  So, the state - as  a matter of law - ... would                                                                    
     have notice  of that  case.  So,  any time  there's any                                                                    
     conservation,  or  development, or  management  dispute                                                                    
     involving  a Board  of [Fisheries]  action,  it is  the                                                                    
     state at issue, and the  state would absolutely have to                                                                    
     give notice or have to be  joined as the real party and                                                                    
     interest in the case.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0166                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that  "this sentence" is hidden in                                                               
the Civil  Rule, and  very few practitioners  are aware  of that.                                                               
He  brought  attention   to  Rule  24(C),  and   he  offered  his                                                               
understanding that it is in regard to intervention.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0300                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to adopt Amendment  1, which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page  2, line  31:   Between the  words "interest"  and                                                                    
     "is" insert                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "or the constitutionality of a regulation or executive                                                                     
     order affecting the public interest"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected for discussion purposes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0330                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARQUEZ,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, said that he thinks  that Amendment 1 would be helpful                                                               
and would  bring notice to the  Department of Law, "not  only the                                                               
constitutionality of  a statute,  but also  the constitutionality                                                               
of  a  regulation of  executive  order."    He said  the  current                                                               
committee substitute  would not impose  a burden on  the attorney                                                               
general; the  state wouldn't necessarily  have to intervene  as a                                                               
party.  He  added, "But it would provide additional  notice."  He                                                               
continued as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Of course, at  some point, it's difficult  to tell what                                                                    
     the volume  would be, and  at some point one  could get                                                                    
     overwhelmed  by data.   ...   The  original legislation                                                                    
     certainly seemed  to be  targeted at  natural resources                                                                    
     issues, so  I'll leave to  the committee -  the target.                                                                    
     But we would have no objection to the amendment.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0398                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH restated  his objection  to [Amendment  1].   He                                                               
said [Amendment  1] is so broad,  which would create a  much more                                                               
cumbersome process, as opposed to the narrow requirement.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  referred to Representative  Gruenberg's previous                                                               
statement regarding  a part  of law  that few  practitioners know                                                               
about.   Conversely, he stated,  "It's an  area of law  that many                                                               
practitioners  know  about  who   regularly  intervene  in  cases                                                               
affecting  fisheries."   He  offered examples.    He stated  that                                                               
intervention is  a powerful tool to  use in many procedures.   He                                                               
noted  that  it's not  used  much  in  context with  family  law.                                                               
However, in the  area of natural resource law, any  time there is                                                               
a private  party versus a  public entity, all kinds  of interests                                                               
are affected potentially,  "and they jump into  that case through                                                               
the intervention  process if  ... their  interests are  not being                                                               
represented   by   existing   litigants."       He   noted   that                                                               
Representative   Gruenberg  had,   during  a   previous  hearing,                                                               
discussed  amending  "the  title  of  the  rule  in  (C),"  under                                                               
procedure  and  management and  jurisdiction  of  resources.   He                                                               
indicated that that would be preferable to [Amendment 1].                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG explained  that  the  reason he  didn't                                                               
"put that one  first" is because he wanted to  see what the title                                                               
should say.  He reiterated  that he thinks many practitioners are                                                               
not aware  that they  have to  notify the  attorney general.   He                                                               
said [Amendment 1]  is not complex, but simply would  be a notice                                                               
to the  court for a request  to notify the attorney  general.  He                                                               
said  it's important  because, without  it, unless  the court  is                                                               
sharp enough  to "pick it  up," which it  might not do  until the                                                               
briefing  is almost  completed  on  an issue,  it  may delay  the                                                               
litigation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   said,  "I  put  everything   in  this                                                               
amendment I could think of."   He clarified there are two issues:                                                               
executive  orders, which  he said  are probably  seldom litigated                                                               
between private parties, and regulations.   He said there are not                                                               
too many  regulations in the field  of family law, but  there are                                                               
in  other  areas of  law.    He  added,  "The question  of  their                                                               
legality and constitutionality, I  think, comes up occasionally."                                                               
He  stated, "I  think it's  kind of  important that  the attorney                                                               
general be notified in these cases."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0685                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  said   he   could   understand  if   the                                                               
constitutionality of  an executive order or  regulation was being                                                               
challenged, but  [Amendment 1]  also includes  the legality  of a                                                               
regulation  or  executive order.    He  stated  that means  if  a                                                               
regulation is  challenged as violating  a statute, "then  we have                                                               
to challenge  it as  well."   He said  it seems  to him  that the                                                               
scope is being broadened tremendously.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested that the amendment  could say                                                               
"at least the constitutionality of a regulation".                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0768                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  responded that  he  has  a problem  with  that,                                                               
because "it's  already in there  when the constitutionality  of a                                                               
state statute affecting the public  interest is in question."  He                                                               
clarified  that  there's always  an  agent  of the  state  that's                                                               
generally  named in  these kinds  of cases.   He  stated, "So,  I                                                               
think your amendment is subsumed in the rule already."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0817                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to  adopt Conceptual  Amendment 2                                                               
on page 3,  lines 9-11, to "break that final  sentence out into a                                                               
new subsection with a new title."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0872                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM brought  attention to  page 1,  [lines 7-9],                                                               
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          (b) The attorney general shall                                                                                        
          (1) defend the Constitution of the State of                                                                           
      Alaska and the Constitution of the United States of                                                                       
     America;                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM stated his opinion  that the attorney general                                                               
has a duty to the State  of Alaska first, and the Constitution of                                                               
the United  States second,  because of sovereignty.   He  said he                                                               
wondered if,  by putting  the two  on the  same line,  that would                                                               
result in an  untenable situation.  He said it  seems to him that                                                               
in the past there have  been instances where the attorney general                                                               
has chosen not to pursue  sovereignty issues within the state and                                                               
the  legislature has  not  been given  standing.   He  questioned                                                               
where  the  allegiances   should  be  and  whether   or  not  the                                                               
legislature,  through  this  type   of  demand  of  the  attorney                                                               
general's office, isn't trying to  exercise a requirement for the                                                               
attorney general's  office to intercede  on behalf of  the people                                                               
of the  state.  He said,  "I think the appeal  process, when that                                                               
went  forward,  that  said  that the  legislature  did  not  have                                                               
standing, is erroneous, ... and that  somehow we have to have the                                                               
opportunity  as  a  state  to   demand  that  our  administrative                                                               
component ...  have a  ... first duty  to protecting  the state's                                                               
sovereignty   and   a   second   duty  to   the   United   States                                                               
constitution."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1004                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH said there is  a conflict between the policies of                                                               
the state and the U.S.  government, and generally the courts have                                                               
deemed  that  the  executive  branch  speaks  for  the  state  in                                                               
enforcing the  law in bringing  litigation and  making litigation                                                               
decisions  on behalf  of  the  state.   He  noted  that that  has                                                               
frustrated legislatures in  the past when they  have attempted to                                                               
intervene or gain  standing on cases it thinks  is important, but                                                               
that the executive branch thinks is not.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1048                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said he would  like to pass the  bill "as                                                               
is."   He suggested that  the House Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
could  deal  with matters  regarding  the  history of  the  court                                                               
rules.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1071                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH indicated that he  would prefer that [the bill be                                                               
moved without Conceptual Amendment 2].                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1080                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  said,   "All  right."     [Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 2 was treated as withdrawn.]                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1090                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL moved  to  report CSHB  132, Version  23-                                                               
LS0541\H, Luckhaupt,  3/25/04, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection, CSHB  132(STA) was reported out of  the House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting was adjourned  at 9:57                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            

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