Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

03/12/2013 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 127 OMBUDSMAN TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HJR 8 AMEND U.S. CONST. RE CAMPAIGN MONEY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 12, 2013                                                                                         
                           8:06 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Lynn Gattis                                                                                                      
Representative Shelley Hughes                                                                                                   
Representative Doug Isaacson                                                                                                    
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 127                                                                                                              
"An Act clarifying  that the Alaska Bar Association  is an agency                                                               
for  purposes of  investigations  by the  ombudsman; relating  to                                                               
compensation of the  ombudsman and to employment of  staff by the                                                               
ombudsman  under  personal   service  contracts;  providing  that                                                               
certain records  of communications  between the ombudsman  and an                                                               
agency  are not  public  records; relating  to  disclosure by  an                                                               
agency to  the ombudsman of  communications subject  to attorney-                                                               
client   and  attorney   work-product  privileges;   relating  to                                                               
informal  and  formal  reports of  opinions  and  recommendations                                                               
issued  by  the  ombudsman;  relating to  the  privilege  of  the                                                               
ombudsman not  to testify  and creating  a privilege  under which                                                               
the  ombudsman is  not required  to  disclose certain  documents;                                                               
relating  to   procedures  for  procurement  by   the  ombudsman;                                                               
relating  to  the definition  of  'agency'  for purposes  of  the                                                               
Ombudsman Act  and providing jurisdiction  of the  ombudsman over                                                               
persons providing certain services to  the state by contract; and                                                               
amending Rules 501 and 503, Alaska Rules of Evidence."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 8                                                                                                    
Urging  the  United States  Congress  and  the President  of  the                                                               
United States  to work  to amend the  Constitution of  the United                                                               
States to prohibit corporations,  unions, and other organizations                                                               
from  making  unlimited  independent expenditures  supporting  or                                                               
opposing candidates for public office.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 127                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OMBUDSMAN                                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/18/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/13       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/12/13       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR  8                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AMEND U.S. CONST. RE CAMPAIGN MONEY                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): GARA                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
02/08/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/08/13       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/15/13       (H)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                          
02/15/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/15/13       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/12/13       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BETH LEIBOWITZ, Assistant Ombudsman                                                                                             
Office of the Ombudsman                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 127.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LINDA LORD JENKINS, Ombudsman                                                                                                   
Office of the Ombudsman                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB                                                              
127.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STEVE VAN GOOR, Bar Council                                                                                                     
Alaska Bar Association                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 127.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE MEYER                                                                                                                    
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HJR 8.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As sponsor, presented HJR 8.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MIKE FRANK                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 8.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KATHARINE VEH                                                                                                                   
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 8.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:06:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB LYNN called the  House State Affairs Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 8:06  a.m.  Representatives Keller, Isaacson,                                                               
Gattis,  Hughes, Kreiss-Tomkins,  and  Lynn were  present at  the                                                               
call to order.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                        HB 127-OMBUDSMAN                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:07:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced  that the first order of  business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO. 127, "An Act  clarifying that the Alaska Bar Association                                                               
is an  agency for  purposes of  investigations by  the ombudsman;                                                               
relating to  compensation of the  ombudsman and to  employment of                                                               
staff  by   the  ombudsman  under  personal   service  contracts;                                                               
providing  that certain  records  of  communications between  the                                                               
ombudsman  and an  agency  are not  public  records; relating  to                                                               
disclosure  by  an  agency to  the  ombudsman  of  communications                                                               
subject to attorney-client  and attorney work-product privileges;                                                               
relating  to   informal  and  formal  reports   of  opinions  and                                                               
recommendations  issued   by  the  ombudsman;  relating   to  the                                                               
privilege  of  the  ombudsman  not  to  testify  and  creating  a                                                               
privilege under which  the ombudsman is not  required to disclose                                                               
certain documents; relating to procedures  for procurement by the                                                               
ombudsman; relating  to the definition  of 'agency'  for purposes                                                               
of the Ombudsman Act and  providing jurisdiction of the ombudsman                                                               
over  persons   providing  certain  services  to   the  state  by                                                               
contract;  and  amending  Rules  501 and  503,  Alaska  Rules  of                                                               
Evidence."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:07:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH  LEIBOWITZ, Assistant  Ombudsman, Office  of the  Ombudsman,                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature,  in response  to Chair  Lynn, reviewed                                                               
the function  of the Office  of the  Ombudsman is to  address the                                                               
concerns of  people who  are unhappy  with a  state agency.   The                                                               
Office  of  the  Ombudsman  determines  whether  a  complaint  is                                                               
justified and, if  so, what can be done to  remedy the situation.                                                               
She said if the office is  overworked, there may be no remedy for                                                               
a  valid complaint.    She  said most  agencies  want to  correct                                                               
"mistakes  of  fact."   Ms.  Leibowitz  said  the Office  of  the                                                               
Ombudsman hears from:   the Office of  Children's Services (OCS),                                                               
which  involves children  in state  custody; parents,  relatives,                                                               
and  family friends;  people dealing  with  child support  cases,                                                               
because that agency deals with a  lot of money and with children;                                                               
the Department of  Corrections, where the customer  is usually in                                                               
jail  and unhappy;  and  every executive  branch  agency at  some                                                               
point or  another.  She stated  that the Office of  the Ombudsman                                                               
can  make  recommendations,   investigate,  obtain  records,  and                                                               
report,  but cannot  force change  on  anyone; it  does not  have                                                               
enforcement power.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:10:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  said it has been  about 20 years since  the Office                                                               
of the  Ombudsman has had  any major amendments to  its "enabling                                                               
legislation."  She related that  at the request of the Ombudsman,                                                               
she  worked  with  Legislative Legal  and  Research  Services  to                                                               
produce draft legislation to address the accumulated problems.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ ventured  that the most important  provision in the                                                               
proposed legislation  is that which  would amend  the testimonial                                                               
privilege of  the Office  of the Ombudsman.   She  explained that                                                               
currently the  Office of the  Ombudsman may not testify  in court                                                               
except to  enforce the provisions  of its legislation.   She said                                                               
that is a  "perfectly good privilege statute,"  which has existed                                                               
since 1975; however, it does  not address production of documents                                                               
or administrative  hearings.  The  Office of the  Ombudsman would                                                               
like  to  amend the  statute  to  express  on matters  of  quasi-                                                               
judicial  forum.    In  response to  Chair  Lynn,  Ms.  Leibowitz                                                               
explained her plan had been to cover HB 127 by topic.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:12:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  requested  Ms.  Leibowitz talk  about  the  bill  by                                                               
section, instead.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:12:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ directed  attention to Section 1,  which deals with                                                               
the Alaska  Bar Association (ABA).   She  said the Office  of the                                                               
Ombudsman would like a  yes or no answer as to  whether ABA is an                                                               
agency  over which  it should  have  jurisdiction.   She said  in                                                               
legal analysis,  some of the  factors used by the  Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court appear to  make the ABA look like an  agency over which the                                                               
Office  of the  Ombudsman  would have  jurisdiction, while  other                                                               
factors  do not.    Since  the early  1980s,  the  Office of  the                                                               
Ombudsman  has  maintained   that  the  ABA  should   be  in  its                                                               
jurisdiction, while the ABA has held the opposite view.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked if both sides are looking for clarity.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ said she thinks the  ABA would "simply like to have                                                               
it be no and  absolutely not."  She clarified, "We  do not have a                                                               
position about  which way  it goes,  other than  that we  want it                                                               
settled."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:14:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  questioned what the value  of having the                                                               
ABA under the  jurisdiction of the Office of  the Ombudsman would                                                               
be, since "the  aspect of jurisdiction usually  requires that you                                                               
have the ability to enforce."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:14:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ offered  her understanding  that it  would be  the                                                               
same value as  for other licensing agencies.   She said currently                                                               
the  Office of  the Ombudsman  has jurisdiction  over the  Alaska                                                               
State  Medical Board  and  all boards  that  are handled  through                                                               
professional licensing.  The primary  effect of that jurisdiction                                                               
is that the  Office of the Ombudsman can obtain  records and talk                                                               
to staff to find out if there is  a problem in how a complaint or                                                               
licensing is being handled.   She said Representative Isaacson is                                                               
correct  that  statute  gives  the Office  of  the  Ombudsman  no                                                               
enforcement power; it gives the office access.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON  said  he  has directed  people  to  the                                                               
Office of  the Ombudsman, and  he expressed appreciation  for Ms.                                                               
Leibowitz' review of what the office  does.  He drew attention to                                                               
a letter  from the  ABA, [dated  March 7,  2013, included  in the                                                               
committee packet],  which talks about the  ABA's strict oversight                                                               
of its  disciplinary responsibilities, as well  as mentioning the                                                               
issue of  confidentiality.   He asked  Ms. Leibowitz  to describe                                                               
the  difference between  the ABA  and OCS,  in terms  of how  the                                                               
Office of the Ombudsman handles complaints.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  said she thinks  the closest analogy would  be the                                                               
Alaska State Medical Board.   She said occasionally the Office of                                                               
the  Ombudsman   receives  complaints   about  the   process  for                                                               
licensing  discipline  and  it looks  at  what  the  investigator                                                               
pulled, whether the  licensing was a timely  process, and whether                                                               
access to speak to the board  was granted if desired.  If someone                                                               
filed a  complaint about  a doctor, the  Office of  the Ombudsman                                                               
would  consider whether  the board  reviewed  the medical  files,                                                               
whether it did what it should  do when reviewing such a case, and                                                               
whether the complaint  was handled in a timely manner.   She said                                                               
the ABA  is different,  because even  with jurisdiction  over the                                                               
ABA's  administrative  agency,  it is  likely  that  disciplinary                                                               
issues still would  not be within the reach of  the Office of the                                                               
Ombudsman, because it  cannot view judicial decisions;  it is not                                                               
an  appeals court.    She said  disciplinary  decisions, such  as                                                               
suspending or  disbarring an attorney,  are reviewed  and decided                                                               
by justices of  the Alaska Supreme Court.  She  said that part is                                                               
a little bit  like OCS, because there are decisions  in OCS cases                                                               
that are decided  by judges.  The Office of  Ombudsman must groom                                                               
through   those  cases   and   determine   which  decisions   are                                                               
administrative and which  are cases that have been ruled  on by a                                                               
judge, thereby making them off limits.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:18:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON  offered   his  understanding  that  Ms.                                                               
Leibowitz is  saying that it  would be  no different to  have the                                                               
ABA under  the jurisdiction of  the Office of the  Ombudsman than                                                               
any other agency,  because the primary focus of the  office is to                                                               
ensure that a person's complaint is heard.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ said  she thinks  that is  the case;  however, she                                                               
said  she thinks  if  the  legislature wants  the  Office of  the                                                               
Ombudsman  to deal  with ABA  matters, an  additional section  of                                                               
statute would be necessary to address Bar Rules 21 and 22.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ISAACSON  asked   Ms.   Leibowitz   if  she   is                                                               
recommending  that the  proposed legislation  be held  until that                                                               
specific language  can be brought to  the committee.  He  said he                                                               
does not want  to pass a bill  out of committee that  is not well                                                               
thought out or complete.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ  said that  depends  on  how the  committee  would                                                               
answer the basic jurisdictional question.   She explained that if                                                               
the  answer is  no,  then there  is  no need  to  hold the  bill;                                                               
Section 1 could  be amended.  She stated, "I  cannot offer you an                                                               
ultimate opinion about whether it's a  great thing for us to have                                                               
jurisdiction, because, as I said,  our office just needs to know,                                                               
as a  policy call:   Does the legislature want  us to do  this or                                                               
not?"                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:21:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN expressed his intent is  not to move the bill today to                                                               
give time  to address controversial  topics within it.   He said,                                                               
"I can see where ... if we  don't get it straightened out on this                                                               
Section 1, we would need further information on it."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON echoed the chair's remark.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:22:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ  proffered  that   the  aforementioned  bar  rules                                                               
provide  for the  confidentiality of  complaint and  disciplinary                                                               
proceeding within the  bar.  She said a subsection  would need to                                                               
be added to  indicate that the Office of the  Ombudsman is one of                                                               
the entities that are allowed to access those records.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:22:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA LORD  JENKINS, Ombudsman, Office  of the  Ombudsman, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  confirmed Ms.  Leibowitz' testimony  that the                                                               
Office  of the  Ombudsman  is looking  for legislative  guidance.                                                               
She said she  thinks the documents and  backup documents produced                                                               
are fairly  evenhanded, and  the office  just wants  the question                                                               
settled.    She said  she  thinks  it  would be  appropriate,  if                                                               
necessary, to  amend the proposed  bill to address  the questions                                                               
raised about amending the bar rules.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:23:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  concurred with  the remarks of  Chair Lynn                                                               
and Representative  Isaacson, regarding  the committee's  need to                                                               
see the  language of the bar  rules in order to  make an informed                                                               
decision.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  said she would  be happy to provide  that language                                                               
via Legislative Legal and Research Services.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:24:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE VAN GOOR, Bar Council,  Alaska Bar Association, stated that                                                               
in 1965, the  legislature decided this issue when  it created the                                                               
bar as  an instrumentality of the  state, not as an  agency under                                                               
either  the executive,  legislative,  or judicial  branches.   He                                                               
said there are two levels of  review for any complaint.  A person                                                               
dissatisfied with  the decision by  the Bar  Council can go  to a                                                               
board liaison  and have the  decision reviewed.  The  liaison has                                                               
the complete authority  to direct the council  to conduct further                                                               
investigations.   Even after  the liaison makes  a decision  on a                                                               
complaint,  the complainant  can  take that  decision  up to  the                                                               
Alaska Supreme  Court.  Mr.  Van Goor  said the ABA  is regularly                                                               
reviewed by  the Division  of Legislative Budget  and Audit.   He                                                               
said that as pointed out by  Ms. Leibowitz, by court rule the ABA                                                               
could not  afford access to  the Office of the  Ombudsman, unless                                                               
the attorney waived confidentiality,  unless an exception applied                                                               
in  Bar   Rule  21,  or   the  [Alaska]  Supreme   Court  ordered                                                               
disclosure.  He  said there would have to  be litigation, because                                                               
the bar  is essentially "in the  middle."  He explained  that the                                                               
bar is  ordered by court  rule to enforce confidentiality  of the                                                               
process up to  the point of formal charges  or public discipline,                                                               
and  it   does  not  have   the  authority  to   uniformly  waive                                                               
confidentiality.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR said  there is a comment in the  report given to the                                                               
committee that states there have  been six matters since December                                                               
of  1999,  where there  was  a  jurisdictional dispute  regarding                                                               
whether or not the Office  of the Ombudsman could investigate the                                                               
ABA.   He pointed  out that  since January of  2000, the  ABA has                                                               
processed nearly  3,079 complaints.   Of  those, the  six matters                                                               
referenced in  the report  are two-tenths of  one percent  of the                                                               
matters reviewed  by the ABA.   Mr. Van Goor stated  that the ABA                                                               
is mindful of  its responsibilities to Alaska citizens.   He said                                                               
it cooperates thoroughly with the  legislature in periodic audits                                                               
conducted by Legislative Audit, with  the executive branch in the                                                               
governor's appointment of  the three public members  of its board                                                               
of  governors,  and   with  the  Alaska  Supreme   Court,  as  it                                                               
supervises the admission and disciplinary  process.  Mr. Van Goor                                                               
opined that Section 1 of HB 127 is not necessary.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:27:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  asked Mr. Van Goor  if he thinks there  is clarity as                                                               
to "who can do what" without the proposed legislation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  GOOR said  in order to  make a  jurisdictional decision,                                                               
the first  decision to be  made would have  to be whether  or not                                                               
the  ABA is  an agency,  and  since 1965,  the ABA  has not  been                                                               
classified as an agency, but  rather as an instrumentality of the                                                               
state,  much  the  same  as   the  University  of  Alaska  is  an                                                               
instrumentality  of  the state.    He  said, "Quite  frankly,  we                                                               
believe the legislature has decided this issue already ...."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:28:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KELLER  said   Mr.   Van   Goor  had   mentioned                                                               
litigation, and he questioned  whether making appropriate changes                                                               
in Bar Rules 21 and 22 would take away the threat of a law suit.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR responded that  Representative Keller is right:  The                                                               
ABA is  bound to  follow the  rules of  procedure adopted  by the                                                               
Alaska Supreme  Court regarding confidentiality of  the grievance                                                               
process.  If those rules are  changed, of course the ABA would be                                                               
obligated to follow the dictates of those rule changes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER asked if, in  his previous remarks, Mr. Van                                                               
Goor was  saying he thinks the  University of Alaska and  the ABA                                                               
are above the basic fact checking  conducted by the Office of the                                                               
Ombudsman.   He asked, "Instrumentality  of the state ...  is not                                                               
above the law, right?"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR answered that  Representative Keller is correct.  He                                                               
clarified  the point  he was  trying  to make  in his  concluding                                                               
remarks  is that  ABA is  responsible  to all  three branches  of                                                               
government.   He  posited  that  the input  of  the three  public                                                               
members  on  the  ABA  Board  of  Governors  has  been  extremely                                                               
affective in  terms of  disciplinary and  admission matters.   He                                                               
said  the Alaska  Supreme Court  has the  ultimate responsibility                                                               
not only in deciding who is  and is not admitted to practice law,                                                               
but also  who remains  in practice.   He  emphasized, "So,  by no                                                               
means, in calling the Alaska  Bar Association an instrumentality,                                                               
am  I saying  that we're  above the  law and  not subject  to the                                                               
three  branches   of  government."     He  said  the   intent  of                                                               
classifying  the  ABA  as  an  instrumentality  in  1955  was  to                                                               
underline  that  the  ABA  is  an  important  function  of  state                                                               
government, which  though not directly  under the  three branches                                                               
of government, is directly accountable to all three branches.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:32:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  said the  Office of the  Ombudsman answers                                                               
to the legislative branch.  He  stated his belief that the intent                                                               
behind the  creation of the Office  of the Ombudsman was  to have                                                               
an entity that  stands between potential excesses  by agencies or                                                               
instrumentalities  and the  people of  Alaska, because  "there is                                                               
nothing else there."   He said it is important  for the committee                                                               
to  determine whether  there  may  be excesses  by  the ABA  that                                                               
should  be brought  to light.    He then  asked Mr.  Van Goor  to                                                               
clarify   his   previous    statistical   information   regarding                                                               
complaints.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR  directed attention to a paragraph in  the middle of                                                               
page  7   of  a  handout   in  the  committee   packet  entitled,                                                               
"Introduction  to Proposed  Amendments to  the Ombudsman  Act (HB                                                               
127)," which read as follows:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Out of  the seven  complaints declined  due to  lack of                                                                    
     clarity over  our jurisdiction, six  complaints alleged                                                                    
     that  the  Bar  Association had  failed  to  adequately                                                                    
     investigate  a complaint  about  attorney competence  -                                                                    
     these were generally  complaints by criminal defendants                                                                    
     regarding their  court-appointed counsel.   The seventh                                                                    
     complaint involved  a client's  effort to collect  on a                                                                    
     fee arbitration award ordered by the Bar Association.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR explained he was  not saying that only two-tenths of                                                               
one percent of  3,000 complaints resulted in  discipline, but was                                                               
saying  that  the six  complaints  the  Office of  the  Ombudsman                                                               
looked at  and determined were  a jurisdictional issue has  to be                                                               
compared to  the 3,079 complaints that  "we" looked at.   He said                                                               
if there was an  issue about the ABA not doing  a proper job with                                                               
complaints, it  would be  reflected in a  couple places:   First,                                                               
there  would  be  a  finding   by  the  ombudsman  in  those  six                                                               
complaints that there was a problem,  but there was not.  Second,                                                               
there  would  have  been  a  finding  by  the  Legislative  Audit                                                               
Division  that  the  ABA  had  failed  in  its  disciplinary  and                                                               
investigative function,  but there  has been  no such  finding in                                                               
any  of  the  audit  reports  that have  been  submitted  to  the                                                               
legislature since the  early 1980s.  Mr. Van Goor  said the ABA's                                                               
annual  report  shows  that  the  association  is  in  a  serious                                                               
disciplinary business and reports  annually the number of lawyers                                                               
that  have been  disciplined,  suspended, or  disbarred.   Unlike                                                               
other  investigatory and  licensing  agencies, he  said, the  ABA                                                               
publishes   notice  of   discipline,   including   the  type   of                                                               
discipline, in the  four major newspapers in the state.   He said                                                               
he does not  think there is any other entity  that does that, and                                                               
it is  done at significant expense  to the association.   He said                                                               
those records  are public,  and the ABA  is currently  working to                                                               
get them on line.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER asked Mr. Van Goor  if it could be the case                                                               
regarding the six complaints that  there were no findings because                                                               
there was no access to the records at the time.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR answered Representative  Keller is correct; however,                                                               
he said the  number of complaints that come to  the Office of the                                                               
Ombudsman pale  in comparison with  the number of  complaints the                                                               
ABA  processes.   He  surmised that  those  who are  incarcerated                                                               
"probably  complain about  their lawyers  as they  complain about                                                               
other state  agencies, including the Department  of Corrections."                                                               
He  said  the  ABA  has  a  specific  way  of  investigating  and                                                               
responding  to concerns  expressed by  inmates who  complain that                                                               
their representation is ineffective;  the Alaska Court System has                                                               
a  method  by which  it  investigates  ineffective assistance  of                                                               
counsel; and if  an inmate disagrees with the  ABA's decision not                                                               
to investigate or  dismiss, that decision can be  reviewed by the                                                               
board liaison  and further go  to the  Alaska Supreme Court.   He                                                               
said he would compare the  supervision and responsibility the ABA                                                               
has for the proper handling  of these complaints to any licensing                                                               
agency in the  state.  He said the ABA  is strictly regulated and                                                               
takes its job seriously.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:38:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked Mr.  Van Goor  to define  agency and                                                               
instrumentality, and to  explain why he thinks  it is appropriate                                                               
for the Alaska  State Medical Board to be an  agency, but not for                                                               
the ABA to be an agency.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  GOOR pointed out  that [the Alaska State  Medical Board]                                                               
was created  in statute as  an agency  while the ABA  was created                                                               
"by  an instrumentality."   He  emphasized that  the Division  of                                                               
Professional  Licensing comes  to  the legislature  on an  annual                                                               
basis to receive  legislative funds in order to do  its job.  The                                                               
ABA is not funded by public money.   He said there was a time the                                                               
ABA  sought reimbursement  for the  expenses  incurred by  public                                                               
members on the Board of  Governors, but that occurred 20-30 years                                                               
ago.   Mr. Van Goor  said he understands Ms.  Leibowitz' argument                                                               
that  under the  Sullivan case  that "you  ought to  look at  the                                                             
factors  that determine  whether or  not an  agency exists."   He                                                               
said  other  occupational  licensing  entities  were  created  as                                                               
agencies, and he reiterated that the ABA was not.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  for  further explanation  regarding                                                               
the difference between an agency and an instrumentality.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR  answered that agencies must  adhere to requirements                                                               
under  the Administrative  Procedures Act,  the Procurement  Act,                                                               
and  other state  requirements.   The ABA  has been  specifically                                                               
excluded  from  the  Administrative   Procedures  Act,  he  said,                                                               
primarily because  its rule-making  function is to  suggest rules                                                               
to  be  adopted  by  the  Alaska  Supreme  Court.    The  ABA  is                                                               
responsible for open records and  open meetings, but differs from                                                               
other  state  agencies  in  that it  needs  the  independence  to                                                               
investigate  complaints and  make rational,  thoughtful decisions                                                               
by its disciplinary  board that it submits to  the Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court.  He  said it is possible that function  could be adversely                                                               
impacted if there  were outside pressures brought to  bear on the                                                               
association  in  making  its  decision.    He  said  the  ABA  is                                                               
represented statewide  by members elected from  the membership in                                                               
the various judicial  districts.  He reiterated that  the ABA has                                                               
the important  contribution of governor-appointed  public members                                                               
on the board.   He concluded, "So,  I think when you  look at the                                                               
requirements  that   are  imposed  at  other   agencies  and  the                                                               
oversight  imposed  on those  other  agencies,  the [Alaska]  Bar                                                               
Association  isn't  an  agency  for   the  purpose  of  this  ...                                                               
legislation."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:44:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  remarked  that  any   legislature  can  change  what                                                               
previous legislatures have done.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:44:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked why it  is important for the  ABA to                                                               
remain  an independent  entity and  not  for the  State Board  of                                                               
Medicine to do so.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN GOOR answered that the  practice of law is different from                                                               
other  occupations  licensed  by  the  state,  primarily  because                                                               
lawyers are administered the bar  [exam], take the oath of office                                                               
to the ABA as officers of  the court, and are responsible for the                                                               
faithful  performance of  their  duties  as lawyers  representing                                                               
clients,  as government  lawyers  representing  agencies, and  as                                                               
lawyers appearing  ultimately to  the Alaska  Supreme Court.   He                                                               
said  the  practice  of  law  is  important  in  maintaining  the                                                               
independence of citizens, so that  decisions are merit-based.  He                                                               
said  it  is  important  to   have  an  independent,  functioning                                                               
practice of  law in any state  and that the Alaska  Supreme Court                                                               
has the ability to properly supervise and regulate.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  GOOR clarified that he  is not by any  means saying that                                                               
the ABA is  not subject to the three branches  of government.  He                                                               
reiterated  his   remarks  regarding  the   communication  system                                                               
between the  ABA and the  three branches.   He ventured  that the                                                               
role  the  Office  of  the   Ombudsman  would  like  is  to  make                                                               
suggestions  regarding the  conduct of  a complaint;  however, he                                                               
suggested that that  function is already done on  a regular basis                                                               
by the disciplinary board in  reviewing the operations of the ABA                                                               
office and by the supreme court  in reviewing how well the ABA is                                                               
complying with the rules set up for investigations.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:47:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  remarked that the Office  of the Ombudsman                                                               
has been very clear that it wants clarity, not expansion.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  GOOR responded that it  did seem that the  Office of the                                                               
Ombudsman was "a bit ambivalent  about whether this was necessary                                                               
or  not."   He opined  that it  is not  a necessary  change.   He                                                               
stated,  "Clearly, if  the ombudsman  wants a  yes or  no answer,                                                               
respectfully, the position  of the bar is that  the answer should                                                               
be no."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:49:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ   stated  that  the  strongest   argument  against                                                               
ombudsman  jurisdiction is  the level  of [Alaska]  Supreme Court                                                               
review that  is involved  with the ABA's  decisions, and  that is                                                               
because  the Office  of the  Ombudsman does  not review  judicial                                                               
decisions.  She  said that issue is discussed in  the appendix of                                                               
the  sectional analysis  included in  the committee  packet.   In                                                               
response  to  the chair,  she  said  the strongest  argument  for                                                               
[ombudsman jurisdiction]  is that  "at the end  of the  day, they                                                               
still look  like a  licensing entity."   She explained  that even                                                               
though the  ABA is an  instrumentality rather than an  agency, it                                                               
appears to  be carrying out  the functions of a  state regulatory                                                               
body.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:50:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  said he  thinks  there  are a  number  of                                                               
issues between  "what the [Alaska]  Supreme Court may or  may not                                                               
decide and the  issues that may arise," judging by  the work done                                                               
by  the  Office of  the  Ombudsman,  which  is important  to  the                                                               
people.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ responded,  "If we  didn't think  there were  some                                                               
[issues],  we  might  not  think   it  necessary  to  raise  this                                                               
question; though frankly, given the  long history of ambiguity on                                                               
this point,  I think  it's about  time to  give it  a yes  or no,                                                               
regardless."   She  said  she  thinks the  ABA  has more  intense                                                               
judicial  involvement;  the  Alaska   Supreme  Court's  level  of                                                               
involvement in  ABA decisions is  higher than for any  other type                                                               
of licensing body in the state.   Ms. Leibowitz said, "That would                                                               
be argument  for saying, 'Let  the judiciary handle them.'"   She                                                               
added, "But I don't think  that covers absolutely everything they                                                               
do."                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:52:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  asked where the Office  of the Ombudsman                                                               
comes  into play  if someone  has  a complaint  against a  doctor                                                               
versus an attorney.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ answered that the  Office of the Ombudsman does not                                                               
attempt to make a substantive  call regarding a doctor's standard                                                               
of  care; it  gets involved  with matters  of due  process.   For                                                               
example,  the  office  may  consider  whether  the  licensee  was                                                               
"heard"  when  "coming  up  for discipline"  and  about  to  lose                                                               
his/her license  or consider whether  the board and its  staff of                                                               
investigators responded  in a  timely manner  and as  candidly as                                                               
the law allows.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON  asked  Ms.  Leibowitz  to  further  her                                                               
explanation  by  describing how  the  Office  of the  Ombudsman's                                                               
involvement  would differ  between  legal and  medical for  "this                                                               
type of complaint."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ   offered  her  understanding  that   if  the  ABA                                                               
determines no disciplinary action  is necessary after considering                                                               
a complaint against  an attorney, the complainant  has the option                                                               
of filing  a petition asking  the Alaska Supreme Court  to review                                                               
that case.   She said, "In other  words, it can go  directly to a                                                               
judicial decision;  not just a  deferential one, but  one looking                                                               
right into  the Bar  Association decision."   She relayed  that a                                                               
complainant  in a  medical  case could  file  an Alaska  Superior                                                               
Court appeal of  the decision to decline  the complaint; however,                                                               
she offered  her understanding that  the court's review  would be                                                               
"a good deal more deferential  toward the administrative agency."                                                               
She added, "It's usually less court involvement."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:56:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON said  he can  appreciate Mr.  Van Goor's                                                               
testimony "to a certain level,"  but concurred with Ms. Leibowitz                                                               
that there  is a question  about the licensing aspect  that makes                                                               
all  the entities  appear to  be on  equal footing  and therefore                                                               
under  the jurisdiction  of [the  Office of  the Ombudsman].   He                                                               
said  he guesses  that  is why  further  clarification is  needed                                                               
regarding Bar Rules 21 and 22.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:56:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN stated that this may  be one of the more controversial                                                               
parts of the bill, so he does not mind spending more time on it.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:57:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS asked if  there are other states in                                                               
which the  state bar association  falls under the purview  of the                                                               
ombudsman's office.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ answered  there  don't seem  to  be other  states,                                                               
partly because  most of  the state  ombudsman's offices  take the                                                               
entire  judicial branch  out  of their  jurisdiction.   She  said                                                               
Alaska is  unusual in that the  Office of the Ombudsman  has been                                                               
given jurisdiction over administrative  agencies, even within the                                                               
judicial branch.  For example,  it has looked at complaints about                                                               
the Clerk of Courts Office.  She  said she thinks at least one of                                                               
the  states  that has  a  general  jurisdiction ombudsman  has  a                                                               
voluntary bar association, which she  said looks even less like a                                                               
state regulatory agency.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:58:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER asked  Ms. Leibowitz how the  Office of the                                                               
Ombudsman  responds  to   complaints  regarding  the  legislative                                                               
branch.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.   LEIBOWITZ  answered   that   the  office   does  not   have                                                               
jurisdiction over elected  officials.  In theory,  the office has                                                               
jurisdiction   over   legislative   branch  agencies,   such   as                                                               
Legislative  Affairs; however,  in practice  the office  does not                                                               
"see  much  of that"  and  is  not "terribly  enthusiastic  about                                                               
investigating  a  sister agency."    She  deferred to  Ms.  Lord-                                                               
Jenkins for further comment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:59:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LORD-JENKINS  said  the  Office of  the  Ombudsman  has,  on                                                               
occasion, received  complaints about legislative aides,  which it                                                               
forwards to  the employer of the  aide.  The office  has received                                                               
complaints  about legislative  agencies  and  has made  inquiries                                                               
about  the complaints  as appropriate;  however, she  offered her                                                               
understanding that  in the time she  has been with the  Office of                                                               
the Ombudsman,  since 1989,  the office has  not issued  a formal                                                               
report or even gone beyond a few inquiry calls.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  said that really illustrates  the value of                                                               
the Office of the Ombudsman.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:00:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  asked how  having  oversight  of the  ABA                                                               
would impact the workload of the Office of the Ombudsman.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:01:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ surmised  that the number of ABA cases  seen by the                                                               
Office of the Ombudsman would increase,  but not by much, in part                                                               
because the ABA  would be "running" its process, and  some of its                                                               
decisions would be  reviewed by the supreme court  rather than by                                                               
the  Office  of  the  Ombudsman.   In  response  to  a  follow-up                                                               
question, she estimated that over  the last decade, the Office of                                                               
the Ombudsman has seen no more than  an average of one or two ABA                                                               
cases a  year.   She said  there have been  cases the  office was                                                               
unable to  go forward with,  and thus  was unable to  resolve one                                                               
way or  the other.   She  said if  the legislature  appointed the                                                               
Office of  the Ombudsman as overseer  of ABA cases, she  does not                                                               
know the  ultimate impact, because  that would  be a new  area of                                                               
focus.  Notwithstanding that, she  estimated the office initially                                                               
would see  approximately five or six  cases a year, at  most, and                                                               
she  said  she does  not  know  how  much  that case  load  would                                                               
increase after that.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:03:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS ventured  that the argument against                                                               
placing  the ABA  within the  jurisdiction of  the Office  of the                                                               
Ombudsman  would be  that  it would  be  redundant; the  judicial                                                               
branch  already supervises  the  ABA.   He  asked  in what  cases                                                               
complaints against  the ABA would  not be adequately  reviewed by                                                               
the court system.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ answered,  "I think it's some of  the same problems                                                               
that ... we see with  other state agencies, where it's timeliness                                                               
of response; it's how clear the  response was.  ... Those tend to                                                               
be the  big ones  we see  with all  state agencies  of complaints                                                               
that aren't  really susceptible to  judicial review.   It's, 'How                                                               
is this being handled while it's getting to the end point?'"                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked  Ms. Leibowitz  to  explain                                                               
what she  means by  "timeliness of  response."   He asked  if she                                                               
means that  the Supreme  Court has a  lengthy review  process for                                                               
complaints against the ABA.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ responded as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Actually,  the first  part of  that is  that before  it                                                                    
     ever  would go  to the  court, the  Bar Association  is                                                                    
     reviewing it, and I think  most agencies at some point,                                                                    
     whether  it's  justified or  not,  we  get a  complaint                                                                    
     saying, "I ...  asked the agency for such  and such and                                                                    
     it fell  into a black  hole."  You know,  ... sometimes                                                                    
     those are really not justified  and sometimes they are;                                                                    
     it's basically a responsiveness  issue.  The other part                                                                    
     of that,  ... especially for  a complaint that  the Bar                                                                    
     Association turns down:  the  [Alaska] Supreme Court is                                                                    
     only  going  to review  that  if  the complainant  then                                                                    
     files a request for the court to review it.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:05:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ,  in response to Representative  Hughes, emphasized                                                               
that the  Office of the  Ombudsman is  not a replacement  for the                                                               
ABA's process.   She explained that if a person  calls the Office                                                               
of the Ombudsman  with a complaint about an  attorney, the office                                                               
first would  advise him/her  to get a  complaint packet  from the                                                               
ABA, and  from there  the Office of  the Ombudsman  can determine                                                               
whether the ABA is managing its process well.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  explained she  is trying to  determine how                                                               
the decision  the committee  makes regarding  HB 127  will affect                                                               
the public.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ said she does not  think it is possible to know the                                                               
answer to that  concern yet, because the Office  of the Ombudsman                                                               
has  never  actually  completed   an  investigation  of  the  ABA                                                               
process.   She  said to  some extent  it will  not be  a complete                                                               
resolution,  because  in  a   disciplinary  decision  against  an                                                               
attorney,  "the justice's  jurisdiction over  that would  tend to                                                               
indicate that  we would not  be there."   She concluded,  "So, to                                                               
some extent  we're not going  to be able  to address some  of the                                                               
issues that we might address with other state agencies."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:08:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  requested  that  Ms.  Leibowitz  continue  with  the                                                               
sectional analysis, for  the time being skipping  Sections 12 and                                                               
13, which he described as needing more time for discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:09:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ  directed  attention  to  Section  2.    She  said                                                               
currently the  ombudsman's salary is set  at a Step A,  Range 26,                                                               
and under Section 2 of HB 127,  the Step A would be removed, thus                                                               
allowing the  ombudsman to occasionally  receive a  step increase                                                               
within a Range 26.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked how much of an increase that would provide.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ answered,  "In a year where  the ombudsman received                                                               
a step  increase, budget  permitting, it  would be  about $3,000-                                                               
$4,000  as  a salary  increase."    In  response to  a  follow-up                                                               
question,  she said  she would  find out  how much  the ombudsman                                                               
currently makes  and let the  committee know later.   She related                                                               
that  in  2012,  the  legislature revised  compensation  for  the                                                               
salary of the  Victims' Rights Advocate from a Step  A, Range 26,                                                               
to allow that position to receive step increases.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  said the legislature  has a provision  that allows                                                               
the  hiring of  individuals under  a personal  services contract,                                                               
which  is done  primarily to  allow legislative  offices to  hire                                                               
retirees to  work on contract.   The provision states that  it is                                                               
applicable  to  the  entire   legislative  branch;  however,  the                                                               
ombudsman's  statute,   which  predates  the   personal  services                                                               
contract provision,  states that  employment policies  under [AS]                                                               
24.10  do  not  apply  to  the Office  of  the  Ombudsman.    Ms.                                                               
Leibowitz  explained  that  Section  3  would  clarify  that  the                                                               
personal services contract provision applies to the ombudsman.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:12:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  relayed that under  current statute,  the opinions                                                               
and recommendations  provided to an  agency by the Office  of the                                                               
Ombudsman are  confidential; however, correspondence  between the                                                               
Office of the  Ombudsman and the state agency  personnel prior to                                                               
making  those  opinions  and recommendations  is  not  guaranteed                                                               
confidentiality.  Ms.  Leibowitz said Section 4  would ensure the                                                               
confidentiality of that correspondence.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  asked Ms. Leibowitz to  confirm that the                                                               
Office   of  the   Ombudsman  is   not   requesting  to   conceal                                                               
information, but  rather to have  transparency after  the opinion                                                               
or recommendation is made.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ  responded,  "Currently   the  only  part  of  the                                                               
ombudsman's  report  that is  releasable  is  when the  ombudsman                                                               
publishes after  investigation, and  the ombudsman can  choose to                                                               
make the  investigation report public.   ... These communications                                                               
would  remain nonpublic  even afterwards,"  for  example, if  the                                                               
ombudsman  discovered  a  complaint  had no  merit  and  did  not                                                               
publish on it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON said that  disturbs him, "because we want                                                               
to be able  to know that all issues that  are settled are settled                                                               
properly."  He  mentioned the Freedom of  Information Act (FOIA),                                                               
and asked if  there is a current problem where  people are asking                                                               
for  the e-mails  to  be made  public before  the  Office of  the                                                               
Ombudsman is able  to release a report or  if [requesting Section                                                               
4] is a preventative measure.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ responded  there was  one case  last year  when an                                                               
individual asked  the Office  of the  Ombudsman for  a copy  of a                                                               
letter to an agency and the  office refused; however, she said it                                                               
is  not  clear  whether  the   agency  would  have  to  give  the                                                               
information  to the  person if  asked to  do so.   Ms.  Leibowitz                                                               
commented on the irony of  information being kept confidential by                                                               
the Office  of the  Ombudsman while perhaps  being shared  by the                                                               
agency involved.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:15:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ  said  Section  5  also  addresses  the  issue  of                                                               
confidentiality.   She explained that under  current statute, the                                                               
Office of the  Ombudsman does not have  access to attorney/client                                                               
privilege  material  or attorney  work  product,  and it  is  not                                                               
contesting  that  fact.    However,  executive  branch  personnel                                                               
sometimes  provides  the ombudsman  with  opinions  given by  the                                                               
Office  of the  Attorney General,  and Section  5 would  offer an                                                               
anti-waiver   provision   to   "protect   their   attorney/client                                                               
privilege from  ... being considered  waived if they  offered the                                                               
information to our office to explain what they're doing."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ stated that Sections  6-9 would provide a statutory                                                               
mechanism for  the Office of  the Ombudsman to issue  an informal                                                               
report.     She  explained  that  under   original  statute,  the                                                               
ombudsman  personally "shall  report," and  she said  that report                                                               
made by  the ombudsman is  formalized and cumbersome;  the office                                                               
issues approximately  one dozen of them  a year.  Last  year, she                                                               
relayed, the  Office of the Ombudsman  received 1,000 complaints,                                                               
many of  which were unsupported  or declined as  "premature," but                                                               
about  200-300   of  which  received  a   substantial  amount  of                                                               
investigative  work.   She  said some  of  those complaints  were                                                               
discontinued,  while some  resulted in  the office  suggesting to                                                               
the agency  involved that there  was something that needed  to be                                                               
fixed; it did not  go to a formal report.   She stated, "We would                                                               
like it to be  clear in statute that we have  a mechanism for ...                                                               
investigating  and resolving  a  complaint short  of that  formal                                                               
report at the end."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:18:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  said Section 10 relates  to testimonial privilege.                                                               
She explained that the Office  of the Ombudsman currently has the                                                               
privilege  to  not  testify  in  court  except  as  necessary  to                                                               
"enforce the  provision of  this chapter."   She said  that dates                                                               
from the  establishment of  the Office of  the Ombudsman  in 1975                                                               
and  is  designed  to  keep   the  ombudsman  out  of  collateral                                                               
litigation.  She said, "We  would like that testimonial privilege                                                               
made  more  express   to  make  it  clear  that   it  applies  to                                                               
administrative hearings  as well  as to court  [proceedings], and                                                               
to make  it very clear  that we do  not produce records  any more                                                               
than we go and testify verbally."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:19:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON asked if this has been a problem.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ answered  not to  date.   She  explained that  the                                                               
Office of  Victims' Rights statute,  which was modeled,  in part,                                                               
on the  Ombudsman Act,  has a lot  of identical  language, except                                                               
that the testimonial privilege section  enacted for the Office of                                                               
Victims' Rights  in 2001 is more  express and much clearer.   She                                                               
opined that it is time to  upgrade the language for the Office of                                                               
the Ombudsman.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:20:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ said  AS 24.55.275 is the  procurement statute, and                                                               
it has  a couple problems:   first,  it refers only  to contracts                                                               
for services,  and second,  it basically  states that  the office                                                               
shall  have regulations  consistent with  AS 36.30,  which refers                                                               
procurement for  legislative branch agencies back  to Legislative                                                               
Counsel  and the  procurement policies  made by  the legislature.                                                               
She  said, "We'd  like that  amended to  make it  clear that  our                                                               
procurement  applies  to all  types  of  procurement, not  simply                                                               
contracts  to  services,  and  we  would  like  it  tied  to  the                                                               
legislative procurement policies."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:21:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  reminded  the  committee of  his  intent  to  bypass                                                               
Sections  12 and  13, and  he asked  committee members  to review                                                               
those sections carefully before the next bill hearing.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:21:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEIBOWITZ explained  that  Sections 5  and  10 are  indirect                                                               
amendments of the court rules; Sections  14 and 16 state that the                                                               
changes to the court rules would  not be effective without a two-                                                               
thirds majority [vote of each house of the legislature].                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  noted that  Section 15 relates  to Section  12 and                                                               
13.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  asked the  committee  to  also consider  Section  13                                                               
before the next bill hearing.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:23:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  MEYER  stated  that  he finds  it  interesting  that  the                                                               
previous  testifier  for  the  ABA   "classifies  himself  as  an                                                               
instrument of  the state."   He questioned  if that  means school                                                               
teachers,  union   halls,  and  preachers  fall   into  the  same                                                               
category.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked if anyone had a response to that query.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:24:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ  proffered that  a union is  a private  entity, and                                                               
she said the Office of the  Ombudsman does not deal with churches                                                               
or  have jurisdiction  over school  districts, unless  the school                                                               
district has signed up to work  with the Office of the Ombudsman.                                                               
In response to Mr. Meyer, she said,  "If I had a clear answer for                                                               
what 'instrumentality of  the state' meant, then I  think that we                                                               
might not be here today."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:24:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER said he looked  up "instrumentality" in the                                                               
dictionary and  found that one  of the  synonyms for the  word is                                                               
"agency."   He indicated  that the  committee is  considering the                                                               
term as it relates to the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:25:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   MEYER  emphasized   the  importance   of  the   legislature                                                               
conducting the  state's business with integrity  and doing things                                                               
in "the proper way."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:25:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEIBOWITZ thanked the committee  for the opportunity to speak                                                               
on HB 127.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:26:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN [announced that HB 127 was held over].                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:26:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 9:26 a.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
           HJR  8-AMEND U.S. CONST. RE CAMPAIGN MONEY                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:29:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  announced  that  the final  order  of  business  was                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR  HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO.  8, Urging the                                                               
United States Congress and the  President of the United States to                                                               
work to amend  the Constitution of the United  States to prohibit                                                               
corporations,  unions,   and  other  organizations   from  making                                                               
unlimited   independent  expenditures   supporting  or   opposing                                                               
candidates for public office.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:29:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  SSHJR  8,  Version  28-LS0424/C,  Bullard,                                                               
3/11/13, as  a work draft.   There being no objection,  Version C                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:30:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN reviewed  the changes incorporated in Version  C.  The                                                               
first change  was to  replace the  word "large"  with "unlimited"                                                               
when preceding the word "contributions".   The next change was to                                                               
delete language from the sponsor  substitute, on page 2, lines 1-                                                               
5.  The  last change was to add two  "whereas" clauses, which are                                                               
found on page 2, lines 1-6.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:31:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES  GARA, Alaska  State Legislature,  as sponsor,                                                               
presented HJR 8.   He explained that the  proposed legislation is                                                               
a response to Citizens United,  a [U.S.] Supreme Court decision a                                                             
couple   years   ago,   which   allowed   environmental   groups,                                                               
corporations, unions, and "all sorts  of special interest groups"                                                               
to make unlimited  [campaign] contributions.  He  said the groups                                                               
have to list  whether the money they contribute is  in support of                                                               
or  in  opposition  to  a   candidate,  and  80  percent  of  the                                                               
contributions  are  listed  as  being made  in  opposition  to  a                                                               
candidate.    Representative Gara  said  the  statements made  in                                                               
opposition to candidates are negative  and often untrue.  He said                                                               
these  large groups,  including foreign  groups, are  influencing                                                               
elections.   He  related that  in 2008,  before Citizens  United,                                                             
independent  expenditures  on  the national  level  totaled  $150                                                               
million;  for  the most  recent  Presidential  Election in  2012,                                                               
independent  expenditures totaled  over one  billion dollars  - a                                                               
seven-fold increase.  He said  the airways have been flooded with                                                               
negative advertisements.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN remarked  that what is negative for  one candidate can                                                               
be positive for another.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA indicated  that  he would  not like  certain                                                               
negative  statements  made  about  his opponent,  even  if  those                                                               
statements benefitted his own campaign.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said the question is:   Do we want  money to                                                               
flood out the  best ideas?  He said  [false] negative advertising                                                               
aired or printed  just days before an election gives  no time for                                                               
the candidate  being attacked  to respond, and  "all of  a sudden                                                               
the  election  gets  dictated  and the  issues  get  dictated  by                                                               
outside groups,  not by  the candidates  who are  running against                                                               
each other.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:34:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN said  the  House Judiciary  Standing  Committee in  a                                                               
previous legislative  session debated at length  the requirements                                                               
for disclosure, and he offered  his understanding that there is a                                                               
requirement for  the top three  contributors to be  announced not                                                               
only in writing at the bottom  of the television screen, but also                                                               
audibly  announced so  that someone  listening to  the television                                                               
but not watching it can hear who the contributor is.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  indicated that Alaska and  some other states                                                               
adopted that  requirement, and  the subject  has been  debated by                                                               
Congress.   He said "they"  have found a loophole  regarding that                                                               
requirement; therefore, it  is not working well.   In response to                                                               
Chair  Lynn, he  explained that  top donors  are filtering  their                                                               
money  through local  groups.   He  said that  is something  that                                                               
could be  fixed in law,  but stated that  that is not  really the                                                               
focus of the proposed joint resolution.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:36:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA,  in   response  to  Representative  Keller,                                                               
indicated  that  the previous  statement  he  made regarding  the                                                               
percentage of money focused on  negative advertising can be found                                                               
among the  information he  provided in  the committee  packet; it                                                               
has been documented.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  stated that  the goal  of CSSS  HJR 8  is to                                                               
obtain a federal Constitutional  amendment when three-quarters of                                                               
the  states  ratify  the  Constitutional  amendment  put  out  by                                                               
Congress.  He said roughly 11  states thus far have told Congress                                                               
they want a  Constitutional amendment, while 20  other states are                                                               
considering resolutions like CSSS HJR  8.  He said he anticipates                                                               
more states will follow suit.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:37:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA responded  to a  request from  the chair  to                                                               
summarize the  purpose of each  "whereas" clause in  the proposed                                                               
joint resolution.   He said the first whereas  clause talks about                                                               
the  ability of  groups to  put unlimited  amounts of  money into                                                               
campaign expenditures;  the second  whereas clause  says Citizens                                                             
United was  highly contested,  but is  the law  of the  land, and                                                             
independent expenditures  cannot be  stopped as long  as Citizens                                                             
United  exists;   and  the  third  whereas   clause  states  that                                                             
unlimited  expenditures skew  the  political system  in favor  of                                                               
those who  have money.   He  opined that  states should  have the                                                               
right  to  limit  independent   expenditures,  and  he  suggested                                                               
perhaps there should  be limits, such as there  are for political                                                               
action committees (PACs).                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  offered his understanding  that for campaigns  run in                                                               
Alaska, individual campaign contributions  were limited to $1,000                                                               
and are  now limited to $500,  while PACs were limited  to $2,000                                                               
and are now limited to $1,000.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA ventured a person  could predict what someone                                                               
who gives  $25 to a  campaign would  say when asked  whether that                                                               
$25 gives  him/her the  same voice  in politics  as a  group that                                                               
donates a million dollars.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:39:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA noted  that  the fourth  whereas clause  was                                                               
added by the committee.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:39:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN addressed the fourth  whereas clause, on page 2, lines                                                               
1-3, which read as follows:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS  the  boards  of directors  and  management  of                                                                  
     corporations,    unions,   and    other   organizations                                                                    
     permitted  to make  unlimited independent  expenditures                                                                    
     may  include individuals  who are  not citizens  of the                                                                    
     United States; and                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  offered his  understanding that  the decision  to put                                                               
forth campaign expenditures rests with  the board of directors of                                                               
a corporation, and members of  many boards are not U.S. citizens.                                                               
He opined  that only U.S.  citizens should be able  to contribute                                                               
for  or against  a  candidate  or proposition,  which  is why  he                                                               
proposed this whereas clause.   He offered his understanding that                                                               
legislative candidates cannot  accept campaign contributions from                                                               
individuals who are not citizens of the U.S.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA confirmed  that is correct.  He  said a Swiss                                                               
corporation, Astra  Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, donated money  for an                                                               
election in  the U.S.  He  remarked, "You can imagine  as we have                                                               
the pipeline  debate that maybe  a Chinese company or  a Japanese                                                               
company or  some other  company would get  involved, and  at some                                                               
point it's meddling in Alaska politics ... by foreign entities."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:41:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  directed  attention to  the  fifth  whereas                                                               
clause, which states that few candidates  are able to stand up to                                                               
big money,  and campaigns  are defined by  the big  donations and                                                               
not by  what the candidates  have to say.   In response  to Chair                                                               
Lynn, he  said in close  races, if  an entity spends  millions of                                                               
dollars  against a  candidate in  the final  days of  a political                                                               
race, that candidate will probably lose.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said  the seventh whereas clause,  on page 2,                                                               
lines  7-9, says  the only  way to  [reverse the  Citizens United                                                             
decision] is through  a constitutional amendment.  He  said he is                                                               
not a fan  of resolutions; however, he said he  thinks that if 36                                                               
other  states  back  this  resolution and  send  the  message  to                                                               
Congress that "enough is enough,"  there will be support for this                                                               
change in  Congress.  He  noted that U.S. Senator  Lisa Murkowski                                                               
has spoken  against "the evils of  this kind of money."   He said                                                               
people want  to run  their own campaigns  and don't  mind running                                                               
against other candidates who run  their own campaign, but he said                                                               
he  thinks  "we  all  mind  when  outside  groups  get  involved,                                                               
especially  with this  concept  of  unlimited expenditures  ...."                                                               
He said  the "Be  It Resolved" language  urges the  U.S. Congress                                                               
and  the President  of the  United  States to  work across  party                                                               
lines to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA relayed  that 95  percent of  candidates who                                                               
receive the  most money get  elected.   He said, "This  issue has                                                               
sort of put  that problem on steroids."  He  said in Ohio, people                                                               
got  so turned  off by  the  election they  started ignoring  the                                                               
television  advertisements.   He  opined, "When  you have  people                                                               
ignoring  the political  debate, the  country is  harmed.   There                                                               
should  be positive  ads where  people actually  talk about  what                                                               
they're going to do."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:45:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said CSSS  HJR  8  will level  the  playing                                                               
field,   and    he   mentioned   getting   rid    of   misleading                                                               
advertisements.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said  he does not think the  proposed joint resolution                                                               
would eliminate misleading advertisements.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said that is  true, but the amount  of money                                                               
being spent  on misleading  advertising at this  point is  out of                                                               
control,  and  when   a  shadow  group  puts   out  a  misleading                                                               
advertising, no one directly is blamed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:46:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  mentioned the  Alias Addition  Acts, which                                                               
he said disallowed  criticism of U.S. Congress  or the President.                                                               
He  said the  resulting resolutions  of 1798  defied the  federal                                                               
government,  much like  addressing the  federal overreach  of the                                                               
U.S.  Supreme   Court,  which  Representative   Keller  commended                                                               
Representative Gara  for doing.   He stated  that the  issue then                                                               
and now is  the First Amendment; the question being  asked now is                                                               
whether there should be any limits.   He said, "I appreciate your                                                               
...  saying ...  and pointing  out  that we  as individuals  have                                                               
limits on  what we and get,  and I would look  at that personally                                                               
as a  bigger wrong than what  the [U.S.] Supreme Court  did."  He                                                               
told  the bill  sponsor that  this is  an interesting  issue, but                                                               
that he will have "a long ways to go" before he can vote for it.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:48:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE FRANK testified in support of HJR  8.  He related that he is                                                               
an attorney  who, in  the '90s, drafted  an initiative  to reform                                                               
the state's campaign  finance laws via a  group called, "Campaign                                                               
Finance  Reform   Now."    He  relayed   that  600-700  signature                                                               
gatherers collected over 30,000  signatures to put the initiative                                                               
on  the  ballot;   when  the  legislature  at   the  time  passed                                                               
legislation  with a  similar  purpose,  Lieutenant Governor  Fran                                                               
Ulmer  took the  initiative off  the ballot.   The  law that  was                                                               
passed was  subsequently upheld by  the Alaska Supreme  Court and                                                               
by the  9th Circuit Court  of Appeals.   The law that  existed at                                                               
the state  level until the  Citizens United case had  a provision                                                             
that forbid  corporations, unions,  and "the shadowy  groups that                                                               
Representative   Gara   mentioned"    from   making   independent                                                               
expenditures in  candidate elections; they were  still allowed to                                                               
make   independent  expenditures   in  the   context  of   ballot                                                               
propositions,   as  was   consistent   with  the   jurisprudences                                                               
surrounding the  First Amendment at  the time.  Mr.  Frank opined                                                               
that the law  worked well until the Citizens  United case, which,                                                             
in  effect,  held that  corporations,  unions,  and other  groups                                                               
should be  allowed to make independent  expenditures in candidate                                                               
elections.   He stated, "Since  then, we've seen an  explosion of                                                               
largely  negative,  misleading,  sometimes false,  and  generally                                                               
uninformative  advertising that  doesn't  help  voters make  wise                                                               
decisions with respect to which candidate to oppose or support."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked, "Would that fall under freedom of speech?"                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FRANK  answered that  it does according  to the  U.S. Supreme                                                               
Court's decision,  which he  said "in  effect equates  money with                                                               
freedom of  speech."   He said  that decision  dates back  to the                                                               
Buckley v. Valeo case in 1976;  however, after that, in Austin v.                                                           
Michigan  Chamber of  Commerce,  the U.S.  Supreme Court  decided                                                             
that  because  corporations  and   unions  could  aggregate  such                                                               
immense wealth,  they could  constitutionally be  prohibited from                                                               
making independent expenditures.   However, that all changed with                                                               
the Citizens  United case, and he  opined it will not  get better                                                             
without  a  constitutional   amendment  to  forbid  corporations,                                                               
unions,   and  other   organizations   from  making   independent                                                               
expenditures  in  the  context  of   elections.    He  urged  the                                                               
committee to  support HJR  8.  He  said it is  really up  to each                                                               
state  to decide  how  to  best regulate  its  state and  federal                                                               
elections of candidates.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:53:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHARINE VEH  testified in  support of HJR  8.   She recollected                                                               
the  second  commandment  in the  Holy  Bible,  regarding  graven                                                               
images.   She  related, "So,  I'm saying,  knowing all  about the                                                               
separation  of church  and  state,  that this  guides  me."   She                                                               
posited  that  currently the  U.S.  Government  is violating  the                                                               
second  commandment,  because  "an   enormous  part  of  being  a                                                               
respected leader is  to tap into the spiritual  side of yourself"                                                               
and "spend  some time in  prayer with  God," then speak  with the                                                               
people  and  make  legislative  decisions based  on  that.    She                                                               
stated,  "Money  doesn't have  anything  to  do  with it."    She                                                               
clarified that decisions  need to be made about  money, but money                                                               
should not be a primary focus  -a graven image - in the political                                                               
sphere.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  VEH further  stated  that  it is  immoral  to  buy and  sell                                                               
candidates.   She  said,  "Slavery was  already  outlawed over  a                                                               
hundred years ago  in the Thirteenth Amendment."  She  said it is                                                               
corrupt to  give money  to candidates "for  favor."   She stated,                                                               
"Candidates are  lined up on  the auction  block and sold  to the                                                               
highest bidder, and this is  extremely scary."  She expressed her                                                               
desire for people to like  their political leaders again, and she                                                               
related  that  her  grandfather  served  his  community  and  was                                                               
respected.   She concluded, "This  kind of integrity  will happen                                                               
once a  measure of  honesty is  built into  the system  through a                                                               
constitutional amendment."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:57:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN said  money  is  an important  part  of politics;  it                                                               
facilitates communication of  the issues.  He  stated his support                                                               
of CSSS HJR  8, and he asked  what the will of  the committee was                                                               
regarding the proposed joint resolution.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:58:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  said he favors CSSS  HJR 8.  He  said he                                                               
is  interested   in  hearing  more  from   Representative  Keller                                                               
regarding  the First  Amendment.   He expressed  appreciation for                                                               
the comments  of Mr. Franks  regarding Alaska's  past legislation                                                               
in 1996 to  level the playing field.   He said he  does not think                                                               
CSSS HJR  8 would harm freedom  of speech, but would  make voices                                                               
equal by  not allowing unlimited contributions.   Notwithstanding                                                               
that, he said it sounds like more discussion is needed.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER ventured  that  there would  be people  to                                                               
testify on  both sides of  this issue, and  he said he  would not                                                               
mind looking  for [testifiers  who might  round out  the opinions                                                               
heard].  He asked that the committee hold CSSS HJR 8.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS  said she  would like the  bill to  be held                                                               
"for the same reasons."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES said  she  agrees.   She  opined that  the                                                               
states  should  be making  the  decision  rather than  a  federal                                                               
court.    She  said  she  would find  it  helpful  to  hear  more                                                               
testimony from "groups that have worked on this issue."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:00:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN reiterated  his strong support, and  he announced that                                                               
CSSS HJR 8 was held over.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:00:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee meeting was  adjourned at 10:01                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 SSHJR8.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
01a CS SSHJR8 Ver. C.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
02 SSHJR8 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
03 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Independent Spending report.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
03a HB127-DOA-PDA-03-08-13.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
04 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - NY Times and Washington Post articles.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
05 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Open Secrets article.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
06 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Sen. Murkowski comments.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
07 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Washington Post opinion poll.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
08 HJR8 3-6-13php.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
09 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Business Insider article.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
10 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Citizens United Fuels Negative Spending.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
11 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Huffington Post Citizens United article.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
12 SSHJR8 Supporting Documents - Open Secrets 2012.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HJR 8
01 HB0127A.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
02 HB127 Letter to Rep. Lynn Ombudsman Act Amendments.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
03 HB127 Fiscal Note 3-05-13.php.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
04 HB 127 Sectional Analysis 030513.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
05 HB 127 FAQs 030513.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
06 HB 127 Letter Alaska Bar Assn & Statutes Mar 2013.pdf HSTA 3/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 127