Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

04/09/2013 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 63 CONTRACTS FOR PREPARATION OF BALLOTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HB 139 SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 9, 2013                                                                                          
                           8:07 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                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 63(STA)                                                                                
"An Act making contracts for the preparation of election ballots                                                                
subject to the provisions of the state procurement code."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 63(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 139                                                                                                              
"An Act adding to the powers and duties of the State Commission                                                                 
for Human Rights; and relating to and prohibiting discrimination                                                                
based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  63                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONTRACTS FOR PREPARATION OF BALLOTS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) FAIRCLOUGH                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
02/22/13       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/13       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/05/13       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/05/13       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/05/13       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/26/13       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/26/13       (S)       Moved CSSB  63(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/26/13       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/27/13       (S)       STA RPT CS  3DP 1NR  NEW TITLE                                                                         
03/27/13       (S)       DP: DYSON, COGHILL, GIESSEL                                                                            
03/27/13       (S)       NR: WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                       
04/02/13       (S)       FIN RPT CS(STA)  6DP                                                                                   
04/02/13       (S)       DP: KELLY, MEYER, FAIRCLOUGH, BISHOP,                                                                  
                         DUNLEAVY, HOFFMAN                                                                                      
04/02/13       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/02/13       (S)       Moved CSSB  63(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/02/13       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/03/13       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/03/13       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 63(STA)                                                                                  
04/04/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/04/13       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
04/09/13       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 139                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KERTTULA                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/22/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/13       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/09/13       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ANNA FAIRCLOUGH                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As sponsor, presented CSSB 63(STA).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LAURA PIERRE, Staff                                                                                                             
Senator Anna Fairclough                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on                                                                 
CSSB 63(STA), on behalf of Senator Fairclough, sponsor.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN FRALEY, Owner                                                                                                             
Print Works & Super Software                                                                                                    
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to CSSB 63(STA).                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
GAIL FENUMIAI, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  during the  hearing on                                                             
CSSB 63(STA).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BETH KERTTULA                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As sponsor, introduced HB 139.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH BOLLING, Staff                                                                                                        
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:      Presented   HB  139   on   behalf   of                                                             
Representative Kerttula, sponsor.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:07:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB LYNN called the  House State Affairs Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 8:07  a.m.  Representatives Isaacson, Keller,                                                               
Kreiss-Tomkins,  and Lynn  were  present at  the  call to  order.                                                               
Representatives Gattis and  Hughes arrived as the  meeting was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          SB  63-CONTRACTS FOR PREPARATION OF BALLOTS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:07:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced that the first  order of business was CS FOR                                                               
SENATE  BILL  NO.  63(STA),  "An Act  making  contracts  for  the                                                               
preparation of election ballots subject  to the provisions of the                                                               
state procurement code."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:08:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ANNA  FAIRCLOUGH, Alaska  State Legislature,  as sponsor,                                                               
presented CSSB 63(STA).  She  said the proposed legislation would                                                               
bring  back fairness  and competition,  by  requiring the  Alaska                                                               
Division  of  Elections to  use  the  state procurement  code  to                                                               
solicit bids for the preparation of election ballots.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:09:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON   said  he  appreciates   the  sponsor's                                                               
bringing forward CSSB 63(STA), because  printers in the Fairbanks                                                               
area have  complained to him that  they have never had  a shot at                                                               
printing [election  ballots].   He indicated  he would  like some                                                               
explanation regarding [paragraph] (10),  on page 3, [lines 4-19],                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                    (10) A nonpartisan ballot shall be                                                                          
     designed for each judicial district  in which a justice                                                                    
     or judge  is seeking retention  in office.   The ballot                                                                    
     shall  be divided  into four  parts.   Each [AND  EACH]                                                                
     part must bear a heading  indicating the court to which                                                                    
     the candidate is seeking  approval, and provision shall                                                                
     be  made for  marking each  question "Yes"  or "No."[.]                                                                
     Within each  part, the question of  whether the justice                                                                
     or judge  shall be  approved or  rejected shall  be set                                                                    
     out in substantially the following manner:                                                                                 
                         (A) "Shall . . . . . . . be                                                                            
     retained  as  justice  of  the  supreme  court  for  10                                                                    
     years?";                                                                                                                   
                         (B) "Shall . . . . . . . . . be                                                                        
     retained as  judge of  the court  of appeals  for eight                                                                    
     years?";                                                                                                                   
                         (C) "Shall . . . . . . . be                                                                            
     retained  as  judge  of  the  superior  court  for  six                                                                    
     years?"; or                                                                                                                
     (D) "Shall .  . . . .  . . be retained as  judge of the                                                                    
     district  court for  four years?"  [PROVISION SHALL  BE                                                                    
     MADE FOR MARKING EACH QUESTION "YES" OR "NO."]                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:10:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  PIERRE,  Staff,  Senator  Anna  Fairclough,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of Senator  Fairclough, sponsor  of CSSB
63(STA), pointed out that the change  made in paragraph (10) is a                                                               
technical one:   the language  regarding a provision  for marking                                                               
each question  "yes" or  "no" was  moved by  the bill  drafter in                                                               
Legislative  Legal and  Research  Services from  lines 18-19  [to                                                               
lines 7-8].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON observed  that by  moving the  language,                                                               
the intent is  that it would apply to  [subparagraphs (A) through                                                               
(D)], rather than just to subparagraph (D).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PIERRE responded that is correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:12:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN FRALEY, Owner,  Print Works & Super  Software, testified in                                                               
opposition to  CSSB 63(STA).   He  said the  proposed legislation                                                               
would "take  away the appropriate  decision-making power"  of the                                                               
Division of  Elections, thus handicapping the  division, which he                                                               
warned   would   make   it   more   difficult   to   ensure   the                                                               
accountability,  security, and  integrity of  Alaska's elections.                                                               
He talked about  an exemption given to the  division, which would                                                               
be taken away under CSSB  63(STA), and about an "understanding of                                                               
what  is  the highest  priority."    He  indicated the  focus  of                                                               
conversation  has   moved  to  printers  and   fair  bidding,  he                                                               
questioned if "the  outcome of an election has taken  a back seat                                                               
to fostering  fair competition," and  he asked if an  election is                                                               
"less important today than it was  then."  He said the main focus                                                               
since  the division  was  given  the exemption  has  been on  the                                                               
voters and  the division's ability  to give the voters  the tools                                                               
they  need to  cast  their  votes.   He  asked  the committee  to                                                               
consider what  is most important:   to provide fair bidding  of a                                                               
printing job  and (indisc.)  the printers or  to ensure  that the                                                               
ballots work on Election Day.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FRALEY stated  that having produced the  ballots for Alaska's                                                               
last six elections, he knows  from experience that the project is                                                               
"far more than simply putting ink  on paper."  He opined that the                                                               
division is  not ordering half  a million tourism  brochures, but                                                               
is  dealing with  the  most critical  and  delicate component  of                                                               
state and  federal elections:   the ballot.   He  reiterated that                                                               
the   proposed   legislation   would   handicap   the   division,                                                               
potentially  preventing   the  division  from   guaranteeing  the                                                               
integrity of  future elections.   He stated that making  wise and                                                               
prudent decisions is the responsibility  of the committee, and he                                                               
opined that  focusing on  "making a few  bucks for  Alaskans" and                                                               
"making  it ...  fair for  a  few print  shops" in  the state  is                                                               
wrong.  He said the one factor  that can derail an election is if                                                               
the  ballots  are  printed  incorrectly.    He  opined  that  the                                                               
proposed   legislation   is   about   ballots;   therefore,   the                                                               
conversation must  stop being about  "being fair  and competitive                                                               
to a few businesses."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. FRALEY asked the committee  to consider the repercussions of,                                                               
for  example, ballots  not feeding  correctly through  the voting                                                               
units.  He talked about  an occurrence in Anchorage where ballots                                                               
were  not distributed  properly,  and as  a  result older  voters                                                               
could not  cast a vote.   He indicated that  jobs were lost  as a                                                               
result of that  incident.  He said the  division deserves thanks,                                                               
but instead, would  be penalized under CSSB  63(STA), which would                                                               
take  away  the  division's  ability to  make  the  decisions  it                                                               
believes need  to be made.   He emphasized that the  division has                                                               
done nothing wrong.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:17:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN asked  if there  is only  one printer  who can  print                                                               
ballots accurately and get them delivered on time.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. FRALEY answered that there are  two printers in the state who                                                               
are certified to produce ballots.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:18:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON  asked  Mr.  Fraley to  confirm  he  had                                                               
testified he  is the one who  has held the contract  for the last                                                               
six [elections].                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. FRALEY answered that is correct.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:18:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FAIRCLOUGH  emphasized  that  Mr.  Farley's  company  is                                                               
beyond reproach,  and the  bill is not  a reflection  of anything                                                               
that  he has  done, but  is  just about  trying to  offer a  fair                                                               
process  for all.   She  suggested asking  Mr. Farley  if he  had                                                               
referred to  the certification process  for the  AccuVote System,                                                               
and  she offered  her understanding  that that  process may  have                                                               
changed over  time.  She  said she  introduced a bill  many years                                                               
ago, during  which discussions were held  regarding the technical                                                               
aspects  required  for  certification.   She  said  many  of  the                                                               
printers today  are much  more technically  savvy than  they were                                                               
five years ago.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:19:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FRALEY  said the printer  responsible [for  printing ballots]                                                               
must  fully comply  with requirements,  such as  registration and                                                               
ink density, as well as understand  what can go wrong with voting                                                               
machines and how  critical alignment is.  He said  he is not sure                                                               
if the  Division of Elections  has "that guideline," but  said he                                                               
knows  the division  fully understands  what  can go  wrong.   He                                                               
opined  it is  critical that  the process  of certification  take                                                               
place.   He added, "There  is a difficulty  in that, and  that is                                                               
that   the  person   that  is   responsible   to  produce   those                                                               
certifications is a major competitor,  and they're not interested                                                               
in certifying more people."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:21:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GAIL  FENUMIAI, Director,  Division of  Elections, Office  of the                                                               
Lieutenant Governor, said  she does not believe there  is a full-                                                               
fledged    certification   process    at   the    present   time.                                                               
Nevertheless, she said Mr. Fraley  is correct that a printer must                                                               
have  in-depth knowledge  of many  factors  involved with  ballot                                                               
printing.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:22:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  asked if  it is possible  that presuming                                                               
more than  one or two  printers in  Alaska could be  qualified to                                                               
print ballots is "rash and foolish."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:23:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  answered she  would not call  it rash  and foolish.                                                               
She  explained  that  the division  is  not  against  competitive                                                               
bidding  and  understands  the sponsor's  intent;  however,  even                                                               
though the proposed legislation has  been amended from low bid to                                                               
full-fledged  request for  proposal (RFP),  there are  still risk                                                               
factors involved in changing to an unknown printer.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON indicated his  previous question had been                                                               
tongue-in-cheek,  because  he is  offended  at  the thought  that                                                               
other printers in  the state could not handle  the precise nature                                                               
of the print  work.  He offered his understanding  that there are                                                               
excellent printers  who have wanted  the opportunity to  submit a                                                               
proposal to the state but "have not yet been able to do so."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  said she knows  of one  other printer in  the state                                                               
that  has printed  ballots and  approached the  division "at  one                                                               
point in time."  She  offered her understanding that the division                                                               
has not been approached by  any other printer in Alaska inquiring                                                               
about ballot printing.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON proffered that  under CSSB 63(STA), other                                                               
[printers]   throughout  the   state   would   be  afforded   the                                                               
opportunity.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI concurred that [printers]  would have the ability to                                                               
provide a competitive sealed bid.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:24:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked Ms.  Fenumiai to describe  the risk,                                                               
to which she previously referred.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI explained  that when  printing  ballots, the  print                                                               
marks and  cut marks need  to be exact.   If the ballots  are cut                                                               
incorrectly, they  may be  misread and have  to be  hand counted,                                                               
thereby slowing  down the  process and  perhaps giving  cause for                                                               
some voters  to wonder if  their votes  will count.   She related                                                               
that since  Mr. Fraley's company  has been printing  ballots, the                                                               
division has "never encountered an incident like that."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER said  he presumes  there are  consequences                                                               
spelled out for any mistakes made  by the current printer, and he                                                               
asked how those consequences would  differ from those given other                                                               
prospective printers.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI  deferred  to Vern  Jones,  the  chief  procurement                                                               
officer  for the  State  of Alaska.    Notwithstanding that,  she                                                               
stated that a  contractor that fails to fulfill an  RFP bid would                                                               
see ramifications;  however, she  said she does  not know  if the                                                               
same kind of penalties would apply  to [mistakes made by] a sole-                                                               
source provider.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER said it seems  like the division would have                                                               
a  lot to  say  about the  criteria that  goes  into a  contract,                                                               
irrespective of whether  the contract is based on RFPs  or a sole                                                               
source.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:28:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI, in  response  to Chair  Lynn,  confirmed that  the                                                               
division does receive proofs from  the printer; however, she said                                                               
it  is  not possible  to  tell  during the  proofreading  process                                                               
whether the tiny marks are "off."   The printer runs test ballots                                                               
through the  units to ensure  that "the tiny marks  are recording                                                               
correctly."  She said the test  is required by the division.  She                                                               
deferred to Mr. Fraley for further explanation of the process.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:29:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  recalled that  Mr. [Fraley]  had commented                                                               
that  an RFP  process would  threaten  security, and  he said  he                                                               
would  like assurance  that  the security  process  would not  be                                                               
adversely affected  under CSSB  63(STA).   He then  queried which                                                               
company printed  the state's election ballots  before Print Works                                                               
& Super Software.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI, to  Representative Keller's  first question,  said                                                               
there  is  an  accountability  factor   -  involving  the  proper                                                               
numbering, sequencing, and  delivery of ballots -  which she does                                                               
not believe  would be  in jeopardy, because  it could  be spelled                                                               
out specifically in the RFP.   Regarding the second question, she                                                               
relayed that  prior to 2002,  ballots were printed Outside.   She                                                               
offered  her  understanding that  the  company  used was  Sequoia                                                               
Printing Services in  California.  The decision was  made to move                                                               
to an in-state printer in 2002.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:31:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES   opined  that   there  would   always  be                                                               
transitions and risks;  therefore, she asked if  the division has                                                               
a "solid  set of criteria  and safeguards"  ready to apply  to an                                                               
RFP.  She  asked if the division would consider  a test ballot as                                                               
part of the RFP process.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:32:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  answered that she  thinks [having]  ballot printing                                                               
equipment  and prior  ballot  printing  experience is  important.                                                               
She named  that which would  be set out in  an RFP:   testing and                                                               
proofing   requirements,  explanation   of   the  numbering   and                                                               
"stubbing"  systems, and  the  accountability  for packaging  and                                                               
delivery.   She  opined  that  the testing  of  ballots prior  to                                                               
delivery  is one  of the  most  important things  done to  ensure                                                               
properly working ballots that will work on election day.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:33:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI,  in  response  to  Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
stated that  the division is "going  to implement the law  to the                                                               
will of the legislature."  She  said the division worked with the                                                               
bill sponsor in  terms of changing from  a low-price-only system,                                                               
which the  division agrees is  probably not in the  best interest                                                               
of the state.  She concluded, "We  can live with the bill the way                                                               
that it  is written."   In response  to follow-up  questions, she                                                               
said  "the exemption"  has been  in place  since 1986,  and other                                                               
states have a variety of ways to address ballot printing.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:35:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FAIRCLOUGH proffered  that  about a  decade ago,  Alaska                                                               
began counting ballots electronically,  following which the state                                                               
transitioned in to the AccuVote  system, which required the state                                                               
purchase new  equipment, which  made it more  critical to  have a                                                               
printer that  could work within specifications.   She recollected                                                               
that when  the AccuVote  system was first  put in  place, testing                                                               
and  certification  was  required  to   be  allowed  to  use  the                                                               
machines.  She described allowing  other [printers] to compete as                                                               
a  transition period  for the  state.   She  reiterated that  Mr.                                                               
Farley's company has  done a great job, but  said printers across                                                               
the state would like the opportunity to compete for the job.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:36:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN [closed public testimony].                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:36:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to  report  CSSB  63(STA)  out  of                                                               
committee, with  individual recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.    There  being no  objection,  CSSB  63(STA)  was                                                               
reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
            HB 139-SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:37:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO. 139  "An Act  adding to  the powers  and duties  of the                                                               
State  Commission   for  Human   Rights;  and  relating   to  and                                                               
prohibiting discrimination based on  sexual orientation or gender                                                               
identity or expression."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:38:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BETH  KERTTULA,   Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
sponsor, introduced  HB 139.   She thanked the  committee members                                                               
for input they had given  regarding the proposed legislation, and                                                               
indicated  the  intent  to  continue working  on  it  during  the                                                               
interim.   She credited her  staff, Elizabeth Bolling,  as having                                                               
done most of the  work on HB 139.  She  noted that Skiff Lobaugh,                                                               
as director of  Personnel for the Legislative  Affairs Agency and                                                               
someone  who  works on  issues  related  to human  resources  and                                                               
employment, was present to answer questions.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:40:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced  that there would be no time  to hear public                                                               
testimony at  the present time.   He remarked upon  the important                                                               
nature of  HB 139 and  said there  have been cultural  changes in                                                               
the world.   He stated, "Frankly,  it's a sign of  the times that                                                               
we're  considering  legislation  such   as  this."    Chair  Lynn                                                               
emphasized  the  need to  consider  all  points.   He  asked  the                                                               
sponsor's staff  to address the  sectional analysis  [included in                                                               
the committee packet].                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:41:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  BOLLING, Staff,  Representative Beth  Kerttula, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented HB 139 on  behalf of Representative                                                               
Kerttula,  sponsor.    She  stated  that  HB  139  would  protect                                                               
Alaskans  from  overt  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  sexual                                                               
orientation and  gender identity  or expression.   The protection                                                               
would pertain to employment,  housing, public accommodations, and                                                               
financing or  credit.  She  relayed that currently  those working                                                               
in the  executive branch are  protected [from  discrimination] by                                                               
administrative order;  however, the order  does not apply  to the                                                               
two other branches  of government in Alaska,  the general public,                                                               
or retired military personnel.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOLLING  said employers that  prefer a particular  dress code                                                               
have the right  to put one in  place; they have the  right not to                                                               
hire someone  if they feel that  person does not hold  the values                                                               
of their organization.   For example, she said  Catholics are not                                                               
required to hire atheists to work  in the church or women to work                                                               
as priests.   These  exceptions would still  apply under  HB 139.                                                               
She stated that people  have a right to say if  they do not think                                                               
a person  is a good match  for their organization.   For example,                                                               
she said AS  18.80.230 (b) allows companies, such  as the fitness                                                               
organization, "Curves," to refuse  to hire or accommodate persons                                                               
who are  not the sex of  their regular clientele, thus,  a female                                                               
can go to Curves and expect an all-female environment.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOLLING  emphasized it is  important to remember that  HB 139                                                               
would not only  protect those who are homosexual,  but also those                                                               
who  are heterosexual.   She  said people  often perceive  gender                                                               
identity   and  orientation   before   being   "told  by   people                                                               
themselves."     She   added,  "We   can  misinterpret   people's                                                               
expression of affection."   She stated, "It  shouldn't be illegal                                                               
to  avoid  hiring  someone  because   you  think  they  might  be                                                               
different than  you like."   She said retired  military personnel                                                               
often struggle in  the transition from military  life, where they                                                               
are protected, to civilian life,  where "there is no protection,"                                                               
and  she  expressed  concern  that   that  puts  those  returning                                                               
soldiers in a difficult position.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN offered  his understanding  that the  Municipality of                                                               
Anchorage had proposed  an ordinance, which he did not  pass.  He                                                               
asked  Ms. Bolling  to give  a brief  description of  how HB  139                                                               
differs from the ordinance that was debated in Anchorage.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOLLING responded  that Proposition  5  provided for  gender                                                               
identity  and  sexual  orientation,   but  did  not  provide  for                                                               
expression.   In response to  Chair Lynn, she explained  that the                                                               
word "expression",  as used  in HB 139,  refers to  hand holding,                                                               
hugging, and kissing.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:44:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER directed attention  to the words "behavior"                                                               
and "expression",  on page  8, line  9, of HB  139, and  he asked                                                               
what the difference  between the two words is  under the proposed                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOLLING answered,  "Behavior  is just  someone's actions  or                                                               
words, but expression also includes  their clothing styles."  She                                                               
indicated that under HB 139,  employers would still be allowed to                                                               
enforce a dress  code and "all the exceptions  that are currently                                                               
in  place [would]  still apply."   She  said expression  includes                                                               
"things that are nonverbal and verbal."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked if that would include manner of dress.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOLLING answered yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:45:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  asked who would be  affected by HB
139.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOLLING  suggested  that there  were  testifiers  who  could                                                               
answer that question if there  was enough time to hear testimony.                                                               
She  said HB  139 would  make everyone  feel safe,  regardless of                                                               
his/her gender identity.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  asked those  who  signed  up  to testify  to  submit                                                               
written testimony.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:46:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  remarked, "In  the  list  of the  various                                                               
things,  already ...  it lists  race,  religion, color,  national                                                               
origin, age,  and sex."   She asked  Ms. Bolling "why  that isn't                                                               
adequate  and why  you  feel  that additional  item  needs to  be                                                               
listed."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOLLING responded as follows:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     I called  the Human Rights Commission  under the Office                                                                    
     of  the Governor,  and asked  them  that question,  and                                                                    
     they weren't  able to get  back to  me in time,  so the                                                                    
     truth is that  I don't know, and frankly ...  I see why                                                                    
     it  could protect.   But  since, I  think, many  people                                                                    
     feel  like there  isn't protection,  it's important  to                                                                    
     add this  to make it  specific, so it's clear  that you                                                                    
     really  cannot discriminate  against  people for  their                                                                    
     sexual orientation.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:48:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked for an example  of how heterosexuals                                                               
would benefit from the protection proposed under HB 139.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOLLING  answered that  under  HB  139, a  heterosexual  who                                                               
wanted, for example,  to join a group such  as Parents, Families,                                                               
&  Friends of  Lesbians and  Gays (PFLAG)  or the  [Juneau] Pride                                                               
Chorus, could not be denied membership.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:48:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  said Ms.  Bolling had said  churches are                                                               
allowed to  not hire  women as  priests, and  he asked  why PFLAG                                                               
would not  be able keep  anyone out  of its organization  who did                                                               
not fit its culture.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOLLING  answered, "Simply because  it's not provided  for in                                                               
the  law."   In response  to the  chair, she  added, "There's  no                                                               
exception for that in our statutes."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON said  he does not see how  "this is going                                                               
to provide  them with that  either, because ... you're  adding to                                                               
the list,  but you're  not ...  specifying ...  homosexual groups                                                               
have to hire heterosexuals."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOLLING asked  if Representative  Isaacson  would like  that                                                               
exception added to  the proposed bill.  She  said currently there                                                               
is no exception "for that sort of thing."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON  clarified that  he  is  not asking  for                                                               
that,  but  said  there  is an  inconsistency  in  Ms.  Bolling's                                                               
argument.   He stated, "At this  point I wouldn't be  able to ...                                                               
vote to go forward, you know, in that regard."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:50:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES remarked  that the aforementioned exception                                                               
for  priesthood  is  an  exception  based on  sex,  and  if  that                                                               
exception  is allowed,  she asked,  "Why  could there  not be  an                                                               
exception made for that?"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:51:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA said  these are  the kinds  of questions                                                               
she  welcomes.   She  stated  she believes  the  reason [for  the                                                               
exception  regarding   priesthood]  is   because  of   the  First                                                               
Amendment  freedom of  religion and  right to  association.   She                                                               
said  there   is  a  distinction   in  employment,   which  seems                                                               
fundamental  in this  discussion,  and that  is  that one  cannot                                                               
discriminate  when "reasonable  demands  of the  position do  not                                                               
require  distinction."   However,  she said  there are  obviously                                                               
certain things that  would require a distinction.   She indicated                                                               
that  clear answers  to  questions could  be  arrived at  through                                                               
ongoing discussion.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOLLING clarified  that both the Human  Rights Commission and                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and  Research   Services  informed  her  that                                                               
although priests  do get paychecks  and are provided  housing, it                                                               
is considered religious office, not  employment.  She added, "So,                                                               
that's part of the exception."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KERTTULA   thanked   the   committee   for   its                                                               
consideration  of  HB  139  and  its  willingness  to  "help  all                                                               
Alaskans no matter  ... their race, creed,  sex, sexual identity,                                                               
or gender."  She concluded, "It's an exciting and good day."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[HB 139 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN thanked  the committee for its work  this session, and                                                               
offered his understanding that today's  meeting would be the last                                                               
in-session meeting of 2013.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:53:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 8:53                                                                  
a.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 CSSB63(STA).pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
02 CSSB 63(STA) Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
03 CSSB 63(STA) Explanation of Changes.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
04 CSSB 63(STA) Sectional Analysis.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
05 SB 63(STA) Fiscal Note.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
06 SB63 ADVANCE PRINTING.PDF HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
07 SB63 AT PUBLISHING.PDF HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
08 SB63 SERVICE BUSI PRINT.PDF HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
09 SB63 TECHNI PRINT.PDF HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
10 SB63 Letter of Support State Chamber.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
01 HB 139.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
02 HB139 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
03 HB139 Sectional Analysis.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
04 HB139 Anchorage Research.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
05 HB139 National Research.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
06 HB139 Letter of Support Longworth.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
07 HB139-DOC-OC-04-04-13.pdf HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
08 Letters of Support HB139.PDF HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
09 Additional Letters of Suppot HB139.PDF HSTA 4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 139