Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

03/15/2011 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 169 LAA REVIEW OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 176 PFD ALLOWABLE ABSENCE:DEFENSE WORKERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 15, 2011                                                                                         
                           8:06 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Pete Petersen                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kyle Johansen                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 169                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the review of proposed regulations by the                                                                   
Legislative Affairs Agency; and providing for an effective                                                                      
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 176                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to an  allowable  absence for  members of  the                                                               
Civilian Expeditionary Workforce of  the United States Department                                                               
of Defense for purposes of  determining eligibility for permanent                                                               
fund dividends; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 169                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LAA REVIEW OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/23/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/11       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/23/11       (H)       STA REFERRAL ADDED BEFORE JUD                                                                          
03/15/11       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 176                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PFD ALLOWABLE ABSENCE:DEFENSE WORKERS                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): MILLER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
03/07/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/07/11       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/15/11       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented HB  169 on  behalf of  the House                                                             
Judiciary  Standing Committee,  sponsor,  on which  he serves  as                                                               
chair.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SARA MUNSON, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB
169,  on  behalf  of  the  House  Judiciary  Standing  Committee,                                                               
sponsor, which is chaired by Representative Gatto.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LISA KIRSCH, Drafting Attorney                                                                                                  
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and  answered questions during the                                                             
hearing on HB 169.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH  BEHR,  Chief  Assistant  Attorney  General  -  Statewide                                                               
Section Supervisor                                                                                                              
Legislation & Regulations Section                                                                                               
Civil Division (Juneau)                                                                                                         
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB
169.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB MILLER                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 176 as sponsor.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TROY BOUFFARD, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Bob Miller                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented HB 176 and  answered questions on                                                             
behalf of Representative Miller, sponsor.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:06:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  WES KELLER  called the  House State  Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  8:06 a.m.  Representatives Seaton,                                                               
P.  Wilson, Petersen,  and Keller  were  present at  the call  to                                                               
order.    Representatives  Lynn  and  Gruenberg  arrived  as  the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
           HB 169-LAA REVIEW OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:06:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR KELLER announced that  the first order of business was                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 169, "An Act  relating to the review  of proposed                                                               
regulations by the Legislative Affairs  Agency; and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:07:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO, Alaska State  Legislature, presented HB 169                                                               
on behalf of the House  Judiciary Standing Committee, sponsor, on                                                               
which  he serves  as chair.   He  said he  recently learned  that                                                               
existing  law   restricts  who   attorneys  working   within  the                                                               
Legislative Affairs Agency can notify  regarding the results of a                                                               
regulation  review.    As  explained  in  the  sponsor  statement                                                               
[included   in  the   committee  packet],   Representative  Gatto                                                               
explained  that  the  proposed   legislation  would  allow  those                                                               
attorneys to notify  the committee or council  that requested the                                                               
review  that the  regulations do  not  meet statutory  standards.                                                               
Furthermore, it  would allow  the attorneys  to consult  with and                                                               
notify  the prime  sponsor  of the  legislation  if the  proposed                                                               
regulation implements newly passed  legislation.  Finally, HB 169                                                               
would allow the attorneys to  notify the person who requested the                                                               
regulation review when the regulations meet statutory standards.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:09:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON noted  that language  in existing  statute                                                               
states  that the  assigned attorney  "may consult"  with specific                                                               
persons, and he asked if HB 169 would provide an exclusive list.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:09:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  MUNSON,  Staff,  Representative Carl  Gatto,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,   on  behalf   of  the   House  Judiciary   Standing                                                               
Committee,  sponsor, which  is chaired  by Representative  Gatto,                                                               
directed attention  to AS 24.20.105(b), which  prioritizes a list                                                               
of  reviews   which  "shall  be  conducted".     She  paraphrased                                                               
paragraph (2), which read as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                    (2) proposed regulations requested in                                                                       
     writing  to be  reviewed by  a standing  committee, the                                                                    
     Administrative  Regulation  Review  Committee,  or  the                                                                    
     legislative   council  as   implicating  major   policy                                                                    
     development.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON said the phrase "may  consult", in HB 169, refers only                                                               
to determining the review.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  asked   Ms.   Munson   to  confirm   his                                                               
understanding   that   the   Administrative   Regulation   Review                                                               
Committee  may conduct  a  review of  new  legislation without  a                                                               
request to do so by a member of the legislature.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON said she does not know the answer.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:12:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR KELLER ventured that one  factor is who the sponsor is                                                               
versus who is on the Administrative Regulation Review Committee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:12:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  opined that  it is  important for  all                                                               
legislators to be notified, not just one.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  said he thinks  anything that is  passed is                                                               
subject to  regulations, and legislators  may find that  their e-                                                               
mail is  loaded.  He  said he had  taken the suggestion  of Terri                                                               
Lauterbach,   of  Legislative   Legal   and  Research   Services,                                                               
regarding who should be included in the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:14:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON cited AS 24.20.105(g), which read as follows:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                    (g) Except as provided in this section,                                                                     
     the  Legislative Affairs  Agency  may  not release  any                                                                    
     information   regarding  its   review  of   a  proposed                                                                    
     regulation under this section.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON said there is a confidentiality issue at stake.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:15:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN ventured  that  an  assumption is  being                                                               
made that sometimes Legislative  Legal and Research Services does                                                               
not  perceive problems  with  regulations that  will  have to  be                                                               
created as a result of newly enacted legislation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MUNSON said  newly  enacted  legislation sometimes  requires                                                               
regulation  that has  to be  reviewed, and  if that  review shows                                                               
regulation that does  not meet statutory standards,  HB 169 would                                                               
allow  Legislative  Legal and  Research  Services  to notify  the                                                               
prime  sponsor  of  the legislation  from  which  the  regulation                                                               
resulted.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:17:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTO   said   the  legislature   often   passes                                                               
legislation that is  in conflict with law,  and regulation review                                                               
ensures that new law matches existing statute.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:18:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG talked  about a  booklet, in  which the                                                               
reviser  of  statutes  gives  a   report  on  any  newly  enacted                                                               
regulations or  court cases that suggest  legislative review, and                                                               
he opined  that judges should  receive the  book.  He  stated his                                                               
support of HB 169, and predicted  it would result in "some really                                                               
good things coming from the legislature."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:21:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said  he understands the focus  of the bill                                                               
is on the  prime sponsor of legislation, but  ventured that there                                                               
are   committees    of   jurisdiction   in   the    House   whose                                                               
responsibilities are  to look at  law, and the  responsibility of                                                               
the chair of those committees is  to look at what is being passed                                                               
to see if it  follows statute.  He relayed that  when he was vice                                                               
chair of the Administrative Regulation  Review Committee, he sent                                                               
memorandums  ("memos")   to  all  members  who   were  chairs  of                                                               
committees to  ensure their  staff reviewed  regulations proposed                                                               
by  agencies to  make certain  those regulations  were consistent                                                               
with  the  jurisdiction  on  which  the  committee  had  purview.                                                               
Representative  Seaton   asked  the  bill  sponsor   to  consider                                                               
including those committee chairs in the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:23:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO said  it is  not possible  to determine  in                                                               
advance of  passing a  bill what regulations  will be  created in                                                               
response  to   it;  regulations   can  be  adopted   years  after                                                               
legislation exists.   In terms of  who to notify, he  opined that                                                               
the  prime sponsor  is "the  person who  has the  most invested,"                                                               
whereas the committee chair may  just be involved only in getting                                                               
the bill heard.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  clarified that he would  like notification                                                               
given to the  committee chair that has  current jurisdiction over                                                               
the  issues   being  addressed   in  regulations   stemming  from                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:26:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO concurred  with Representative  Seaton that                                                               
the  information  should  be  sent  to  the  chair  with  current                                                               
jurisdiction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  noted  that  "a  standing  committee"  is                                                               
listed in AS 24.20.105(b)(2) [text provided previously].                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:28:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he thinks [AS  24.20.105(b)(2)] gives                                                               
a standing committee the authority  to request a review, but that                                                               
is not the  same as notifying the committee chair  and staff.  He                                                               
explained,  "If the  committee chair  that has  jurisdiction over                                                               
that  didn't specifically  ... make  a  request for  a review  of                                                               
regulation, they don't get notification."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:28:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   said   AS   24.20.105   deals   with                                                               
Legislative Legal  and Research  Services within  the Legislative                                                               
Affairs Agency, and  there are other statutes that  deal with the                                                               
Administrative   Regulation   Review   Committee   and   standing                                                               
committees.  He  said a key point is  the "triggering mechanism."                                                               
He paraphrased AS 24.05.182(a), which read as follows:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     (a) A  standing committee of the  legislature furnished                                                                    
     notice of  a proposed  action under AS  44.62.190 shall                                                                    
     review   the  proposed   regulation,  amendment   of  a                                                                    
     regulation, or  repeal of a regulation  before the date                                                                    
     the  regulation  is  scheduled  by  the  department  or                                                                    
     agency to be adopted, amended, or repealed.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  listed  the  following  entities  that                                                               
should  be notified:   Legislative  Legal and  Research Services,                                                               
the   Administrative  Regulation   Review   Committee,  and   the                                                               
[applicable] standing  committee.   He indicated that  the system                                                               
will work better when there is notification.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:32:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  said  he thinks  Representative  Gruenberg                                                               
recommendation makes  sense, and he  said he would not  object to                                                               
an amendment.   He suggested the  amendment could be made  in the                                                               
House  Judiciary Standing  Committee, which  is the  committee of                                                               
next referral.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:33:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE   CHAIR  KELLER   said  that   as  a   past  chair   of  the                                                               
Administrative Regulation  Review Committee, he thinks  HB 169 is                                                               
a good bill.  He ventured  that a reform of the regulation review                                                               
process is  probably needed,  but he  said it  may be  harmful to                                                               
turn HB  169 into a reform  bill.  He then  directed attention to                                                               
proposed language on page 2, lines 7-10, which read as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     If, after  performing a  review requested  under (b)(2)                                                                
     of this section, the  assigned attorney determines that                                                                
     the proposed regulations meet the  standards set out in                                                                
     (d)  of  this  section,  the  assigned  attorney  shall                                                                
     communicate that determination to the requester.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  KELLER questioned  if there should  be "some  kind of                                                               
accountability or protection for that attorney."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  offered his  understanding that  Vice Chair                                                               
Keller is requesting there be a second opinion.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:35:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MUNSON  said she  does  not  know about  the  accountability                                                               
mechanisms within [Legislative Legal  and Research Services], but                                                               
stated  that  HB  169  would   require  its  lawyers  to  provide                                                               
notification,  even  if there  are  no  problems found  with  the                                                               
review, and that  would help the requestor know  that the process                                                               
has been completed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:36:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG cited  AS 24.20.105(c),  which read  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
               (c) Under AS 44.62.190(a)(7), the notice of                                                                      
     proposal  action, along  with  a copy  of the  proposed                                                                    
     regulation,  shall be  furnished electronically  by the                                                                    
     state agency to the                                                                                                        
                         (1) Legislative Affairs Agency;                                                                        
              (2)   chairs    of   the   standing                                                                               
      committees with jurisdiction over the subject of the                                                                      
     proposed regulations;                                                                                                      
              (3)    Administrative    Regulation                                                                               
     Review Committee;                                                                                                          
                         (4) legislative council.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  pointed  out that  that  only  applies                                                               
during the 30-day period of  public comment, which is very little                                                               
time.  He suggested that a stay  could be put on reviews, to give                                                               
the legislature  more than 30 days.   He said he  thinks [HB 169]                                                               
provides the opportunity for reform.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:39:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON stated  his  assumption that  procedurally                                                               
all  legislators  get  notification,  even  though  that  is  not                                                               
supported by AS 24.20.105(c)(2).                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR KELLER  said  he  is under  the  impression that  all                                                               
legislators get notification.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:41:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO said  he receives  numerous e-mails,  which                                                               
are  notices of  proposed  rule-making, but  questioned if  there                                                               
were others  he does  not receive.   He observed  that electronic                                                               
notification is  relatively easy to  send, and the  recipient can                                                               
choose whether or not to read the notifications.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:42:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON, regarding  the subject of responding to                                                               
requests  when no  problems  are found,  referred  to a  sentence                                                               
written  by Terri  Lauterbach of  Legislative Legal  and Research                                                               
Services,  on the  second page  of a  memorandum ("memo")  to the                                                               
bill  sponsor  dated 2/18/11,  which  read  as follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I have deliberately not  required this communication to                                                                    
     be in writing  so that a phone call  could suffice; the                                                                    
     requester,  of course,  could always  request that  the                                                                    
     "no problems" response be in writing.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked the  bill sponsor if he  wants to                                                               
specify that  the call be  made in  person, rather than  having a                                                               
message left on a machine,  because sometimes messages left don't                                                               
get received right away.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON  emphasized that this  communication would  be allowed                                                               
only in those  situations where the reviewer has  not found legal                                                               
flaws, and  she said she does  not know whether or  not leaving a                                                               
message  on a  machine would  be problematic  in terms  of "shall                                                               
notify".  In response to  Representative P. Wilson, she confirmed                                                               
that if there  is a perceived problem with  legislation, then the                                                               
attorney would  have to  relay that outcome  to the  requester in                                                               
writing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:44:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA KIRSCH,  Drafting Attorney,  Legislative Legal  and Research                                                               
Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency, Alaska  State Legislature,                                                               
noted that  prior to her work  as a drafting attorney,  she was a                                                               
regulation reviewer.   She  stated that  under Title  44, Chapter                                                               
62,  of the  Administrative Procedure  Act, proposed  regulations                                                               
must go out  to all legislators.   There are at least  30 days of                                                               
notice before  another step is  taken, depending on  what happens                                                               
during the comment period.   The regulation review lawyer reviews                                                               
the  regulation(s)   and,  under  current  law,   is  allowed  to                                                               
communicate any concerns to the  agencies, the Department of Law,                                                               
and the  attorney general.  She  said the attorney looks  for the                                                               
following:   general legality and constitutionality,  whether the                                                               
agency has  the authority to  adopt the regulations,  and whether                                                               
those regulations are  consistent with existing law.   Ms. Kirsch                                                               
said HB  169 would  amend the current,  "odd situation"  in which                                                               
standing  committees are  allowed to  request a  review, but  the                                                               
release of  the review  is limited  to a  small group  of people,                                                               
which does not include the committee that requested the review.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:49:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KIRSCH, to  Representative P.  Wilson's query  about sending                                                               
the  results of  the review  to everyone,  stated that  typically                                                               
memos that  come out of  Legislative Legal and  Research Services                                                               
are  kept   confidential;  there  is  type   of  attorney  client                                                               
relationship between  a Legislative  Legal and  Research Services                                                               
lawyer and  a legislator, even  when another legislator  may make                                                               
the  same  request.    She  said  she  thinks  that  relationship                                                               
encourages  open  communication.     She  ventured  that  sending                                                               
information  to everyone  may  result in  a  glut of  information                                                               
being sent to many who have no concern in the issue.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:50:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked if  notices of proposed  actions and                                                               
copies  of proposed  regulations  are being  sent  only to  those                                                               
listed in  AS 24.20.105(c) or are  being sent also to  the public                                                               
and to all legislators.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.   KIRSCH  responded,   "All   those   things  are   happening                                                               
simultaneously."    She  characterized  HB 169  as  a  "belt  and                                                               
suspenders" bill to ensure that  those who have jurisdiction over                                                               
the  subject matter  receive the  information.   Nonetheless, she                                                               
related that agencies are required to  send out notice to a broad                                                               
range, including members  of the public who have  requested to be                                                               
on the  list.   The information  also is  broadcast on  the news.                                                               
She said an electronic list  of e-mail addresses is maintained to                                                               
ensure that this happens.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  surmised that  the agency sending  out the                                                               
list must coordinate  it, because he does not  receive two copies                                                               
as a result of being a standing committee chair and legislator.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:52:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH  BEHR,  Chief  Assistant  Attorney  General  -  Statewide                                                               
Section  Supervisor,  Legislation  & Regulations  Section,  Civil                                                               
Division (Juneau),  Department of  Law, explained that  [prior to                                                               
AS 24.20.105  (c)], under the  Administrative Procedure  Act, not                                                               
everybody got copies of the  proposed regulations and legislative                                                               
council  did not  get routine  mailings.   She stated,  "So, it's                                                               
kind  of a  blending  of  two things.    But  chairs of  standing                                                               
committees  --  you  would  get  that  under  the  Administrative                                                               
Procedure Act;  the advantage of this  is you also get  a copy of                                                               
the regulations."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:54:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  said  he   can  understand  agencies  not                                                               
wanting  memos  that  question   the  legality  of  a  regulation                                                               
becoming public.   He asked if  there would be any  protection of                                                               
that confidentiality,  and offered his understanding  that [under                                                               
HB  169],  "legal  review  of  the  regulation,  which  might  be                                                               
questioned with  the statute, would leave  the confidentiality of                                                               
the legislature."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:55:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KIRSCH   responded  that   she  views   the  confidentiality                                                               
provisions as a limitation on what  she can do with the memos and                                                               
with  whom Legislative  Legal and  Research Services  can discuss                                                               
them.  Once the  memo goes out, it is in the  hands of the holder                                                               
of the  confidentiality - the person  who is listed in  statute -                                                               
who then has  the ability to further  distribute the information.                                                               
In response  to Representative Seaton, Ms.  Kirsch clarified that                                                               
although  the  chair  of  the  Administrative  Regulation  Review                                                               
Committee has  the ability to share  the confidential information                                                               
without punishment  for doing so, Legislative  Legal and Research                                                               
Services   encourages    that   the    chair   not    erode   the                                                               
confidentiality.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:59:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  offered  his understanding  that  HB  169                                                               
would   not  change   confidentiality,   but   would  allow   for                                                               
notification and consultation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:00:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH said  what Vice Chair Keller is  saying is essentially                                                               
true.  She reiterated her previous explanation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:00:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  stated, "This  is  a  place where  the                                                               
rules of  confidentiality come up  against the public's  right to                                                               
know."  He  offered his understanding that Ms.  Kirsch is talking                                                               
about  a  small  aspect  of  whether  the  attorney  can  release                                                               
information, which is addressed in  AS 24.20.105(g).  He said the                                                               
issue at  hand is  not about adjudicating  but about  rule making                                                               
and whether the agencies are  overstepping their bounds.  He said                                                               
AS 24.20.105 deals with the  proposed regulations, and he pointed                                                               
out that  there is a  small time-frame, people are  not notified,                                                               
and there are  issues of confidentiality.  He said  when he first                                                               
looked at  HB 169,  he thought the  proposed legislation  was not                                                               
controversial, but said  he now sees the bill  is "unlatching the                                                               
door of something extremely important."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  said   the  second   aspect  is   the                                                               
examination  of  regulations  and   opinions,  covered  under  AS                                                               
24.20.065.  He  said that is the final product  that is published                                                               
by the Legislative Affairs Agency but  sent to no one.  He thinks                                                               
this is a key issue regarding the public's right to know.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:03:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER surmised that the  bill would be held over.                                                               
He said  he concurs  that the regulation  review process  must be                                                               
improved.   In response to  Representative Gruenberg, he  said he                                                               
is  not prepared  at this  time to  decide which  committee would                                                               
take jurisdiction  over the bill.   He said he would  prefer that                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg speak  with the  bill sponsor  and then                                                               
with the chair of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:05:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:05:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR   KELLER  talked  about   being  the  chair   of  the                                                               
Administrative Regulation  Review Committee and the  challenge of                                                               
serving on that committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:07:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KIRSCH, in  response  to  Vice Chair  Keller,  said she  has                                                               
always  received good  help from  the  executive branch  agencies                                                               
adopting regulations.   She  said there were  times when  she did                                                               
not  agree  with  the  agencies'  interpretation  of  statute  or                                                               
pointed  out mistakes  of  overlapping  statutory and  regulatory                                                               
authority gone undetected by the  agencies; however, she said her                                                               
overall interaction with the agencies has been positive.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  KELLER clarified that  he wants  to know what  can be                                                               
done  to  make the  regulation  process  more accessible  to  the                                                               
public.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:10:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BEHR  said Vice Chair Keller  has touched upon an  issue that                                                               
is  being addressed  by the  lieutenant governor,  who is  keenly                                                               
interested in improving electronic access  so that the public can                                                               
easily use the state's web sites.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:10:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.   WILSON  suggested  that  if   a  statute  or                                                               
regulation  change is  going to  be  made, the  change should  be                                                               
clearly defined.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BEHR  responded  that  some   agencies  send  "Dear  Alaska"                                                               
explanatory letters,  but said she will  emphasize Representative                                                               
P. Wilson's point in training.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:12:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  for clarification  regarding  what                                                               
information would be  sent to past prime  sponsors of legislation                                                               
and when it would be sent.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH  responded that  when public  notices are  received by                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and Research  Services  depends  on when  the                                                               
agencies put them  out.  She said Legislative  Legal and Research                                                               
Services tries  to finish  its review  during the  public comment                                                               
period.  That  may happen at any  time, she added.   She said the                                                               
notice that  goes out under  the Administrative Procedure  Act is                                                               
sent to everyone,  including the prime sponsor  of the underlying                                                               
statute that  led to  the change  in regulation.   She  said, "If                                                               
they are  on a  standing committee  or whatever  or one  of these                                                               
listed groups then they'll also  get an electronic version of the                                                               
[regulatory]  changes,  as well."    Under  [HB 169],  the  prime                                                               
sponsor would  receive any memorandum  that points  out problems,                                                               
provided he/she is still an active member of the legislature.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  he would  like to  see a  flow chart                                                               
depicting the process.  He said  he is trying to figure out where                                                               
"this pre-final regulation communication" goes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:17:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KIRSCH  said  she  does not  think  "we"  are  contemplating                                                               
sending  every   communication  between  the   regulatory  review                                                               
attorney  and  the  agencies.     The  attorney  would  have  the                                                               
opportunity to  consult with  the prime sponsor  if he/she  had a                                                               
question about legislative intent.  She continued as follows:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I  suppose [that]  if the  prime sponsor  requested ...                                                                    
     more  information, ...  [then]  you  could ...  consult                                                                    
     with  them under  the change  to  the statute.   But  I                                                                    
     think  the document  we're talking  about is  the final                                                                    
     memo that  contains the [regulation]  attorney's review                                                                    
     of   the  legality   and   constitutionality  and   the                                                                    
     authority that the agency has.   That memo would be the                                                                    
     document that would go to the prime sponsor.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:18:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH,  in response  to Representative  P. Wilson,  said one                                                               
way she can determine legislative  intent is by reading committee                                                               
minutes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:19:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER,  after ascertaining that there  was no one                                                               
else who wished to testify, closed public testimony.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON directed  attention to  the phrase  "newly                                                               
enacted legislation"  on page 2, line  3, and said he  would like                                                               
clarification as to what that means.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:20:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH relayed that the  provisions related to "newly enacted                                                               
legislation"  are  found  in AS  24.20.105(b)(1),  which  is  the                                                               
provision  that addresses  the priority  of regulations  if there                                                               
are more  regulations at  any given  time that  Legislative Legal                                                               
and Research  Services can review.   She said [HB  169] addresses                                                               
the  prime  sponsor in  connection  with  "those that  are  newly                                                               
enacted."     Generally,  she  said,  she   views  newly  enacted                                                               
legislation as that  which has been enacted within  the past five                                                               
years.   She said if  legislation was  enacted some time  ago and                                                               
regulations are already in place,  then that is just an amendment                                                               
of regulations, and she would not consider that "newly enacted".                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:22:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR KELLER announced that HB 169 was heard and held.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:24:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The  committee took  a  brief at-ease,  during  which Vice  Chair                                                               
Keller handed the gavel back to Chair Lynn.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          HB 176-PFD ALLOWABLE ABSENCE:DEFENSE WORKERS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:28:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO. 176,  "An  Act  relating to  an  allowable absence  for                                                               
members  of the  Civilian Expeditionary  Workforce of  the United                                                               
States  Department   of  Defense  for  purposes   of  determining                                                               
eligibility for  permanent fund dividends;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:29:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER moved  to adopt  the committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) for HB 176, Version  27-LS0224\B, Kirsch, 3/14/11, as a work                                                               
draft.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:29:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:29:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB  MILLER, Alaska State  Legislature, introduced                                                               
HB 176  as sponsor.   He said there  is a  list of those  who are                                                               
allowed to  receive the  Alaska Permanent  Fund Dividend,  and it                                                               
came to his attention that there  is a small contingent of Alaska                                                               
residents who  work for  the U.S. Department  of Defense,  can be                                                               
deployed to  war zones, and, because  of the length of  time they                                                               
are deployed, are not always eligible  to receive a PFD.  He said                                                               
HB 176 would establish an allowable absence for those people.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:31:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TROY  BOUFFARD, Staff,  Representative Bob  Miller, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  HB 176 and  answered questions  on behalf                                                               
of Representative  Miller, sponsor.   In response to  Chair Lynn,                                                               
he explained  that there are  approximately 53 civilians  who are                                                               
identified  in   the  capacity  of  the   Civilian  Expeditionary                                                               
Workforce.   He  specified that  the bill  clearly separates  the                                                               
workforce as that which can be deployed.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:33:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON directed attention  to the terms list on                                                               
page 1, line 14,  through page 2, line 1, of  Version M - "combat                                                           
zone, qualified hazardous duty area, or  a danger pay post" - and                                                           
asked for a definition of each.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN requested a definition from the sponsor.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER said he will get that clarification.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:37:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  said   he  would   like  not   only  the                                                               
definitions, but also wants to know where those areas are.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:38:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KELLER  noted   Section   2   states  that   the                                                               
definitions  of   "Civilian  Expeditionary   Workforce",  "combat                                                               
zone", and  "danger pay post"  used in HB  176 are those  used in                                                               
United States  Code.   He pointed out  one possible  problem with                                                               
using federal definitions  in determining who will  receive a PFD                                                               
is that  those definitions could  change, which could  affect who                                                               
would be eligible for  the PFD.  He asked the  bill sponsor if he                                                               
has any objection to including a  full definition of the terms in                                                               
Alaska statute.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER  answered  that  he has  no  objection  at                                                               
present, but  suggested that plainer  language could be  used for                                                               
clarification.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  said he  would like  to see  the definition  in plain                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:40:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  said a  military person  contacted her                                                               
regarding HB 176,  and this person has been out  of the state for                                                               
10 years  and has qualified  every year but  this one.   She said                                                               
she does not know which category  he/she is in, but wants to know                                                               
how the person can qualify once more for the PFD.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOUFFARD  responded that  someone in  the active  military is                                                               
beyond the scope of HB 176.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER  stated his intent  is for HB 176  to cover                                                               
those who  are current residents  of Alaska who intend  to return                                                               
to Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:43:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOUFFARD stated  his understanding that HB  190 would address                                                               
the issue to which Representative P. Wilson referred.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:44:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  that  the  federal  definitions                                                               
referenced in  Section 2 be provided  to the committee.   He then                                                               
directed  attention to  Section 4,  and questioned  why the  bill                                                               
sponsor chose retroactivity of two years rather than one.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:45:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER,  in  response to  Representative  Seaton,                                                               
said  HB 176  would not  apply to  those teaching  children on  a                                                               
military base.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:48:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOUFFARD, in  response to  Representative  Seaton, said  the                                                               
contracting  civilian issue  was a  sticking point.   He  relayed                                                               
that  contractors have  the ability  to  negotiate their  salary,                                                               
thus  fall under  the  category  of those  who  make an  economic                                                               
choice and are excluded from the scope of the bill.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:49:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOUFFARD, in  response to Representative P.  Wilson, said the                                                               
definition of civilian workforce is  a civilian who works for the                                                               
U.S. Department of Defense who is deployable.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER,  in response to Representative  P. Wilson,                                                               
said  he  would supply  a  definition  clarifying the  difference                                                               
between "deployed" and "assigned".                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:52:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON requested  a  list of  the occupations  of                                                               
those  who  would be  included  under  HB 176,  because  civilian                                                               
expeditionary force  is ambiguous and some  situations sound like                                                               
economic choice may be involved.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:54:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN noted that Debbie Bitney, the director of the                                                                        
Permanent Fund Division, was available to answer questions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:54:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER offered his understanding that in any                                                                     
given year, HB 176 would cover about six people.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:55:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced that HB 176 was heard and held.  [The                                                                      
motion to adopt Version B as a work draft was left pending.]                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:56:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:57                                                                  
a.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB0176A.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
01a CS for HB 176 Version B.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
02 Sponsor Statement - HB 176.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
03 HB176-DOR-PFD-3-12-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
01 HB169 Version A 02-23-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169
02 HB169 Sponsor Statement 03-08-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169
03 HB169 Supporting Documents-Memo Legal Services 02-18-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169
04 Fiscal Note HB 169 Legislature.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169