Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/16/2017 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 20 SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGE: ELECTED OFFICIALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HCR 5 UNIFORM RULES: COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 3 NATL GUARD LEAVE/REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 3(MLV) Out of Committee
                       ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                               
                HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                          February 16, 2017                                                                                     
                              3:07 p.m.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Andy Josephson (alternate)                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Chuck Kopp (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 3                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to the employment rights of employees in the                                                                   
state who are members of the National Guard of another state,                                                                   
territory, or district of the United States."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 3(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 20                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to marriage solemnization; and authorizing                                                                     
elected public officials in the state to solemnize marriages."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 5                                                                                               
Proposing an amendment to the Uniform Rules of the Alaska State                                                                 
Legislature relating to the membership of the Committee on                                                                      
Committees.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 3                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: NATL GUARD LEAVE/REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TUCK                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/18/17        (H)        PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                              
01/18/17        (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                      
01/18/17        (H)        MLV, STA                                                                                             
01/26/17        (H)        MLV AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                         
01/26/17        (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                         
01/26/17        (H)        MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                          
02/02/17        (H)        MLV AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                         
02/02/17        (H)        Moved CSHB 3(MLV) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/02/17        (H)        MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                          
02/03/17        (H)        MLV RPT CS(MLV) 7DP                                                                                  
02/03/17        (H)        DP:     LEDOUX,      SPOHNHOLZ,     PARISH,                                                          
                           RAUSCHER, SADDLER, REINBOLD, TUCK                                                                    
02/14/17        (H)        STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                         
02/14/17        (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                         
02/14/17        (H)        MINUTE(STA)                                                                                          
02/16/17        (H)        STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 20                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGE: ELECTED OFFICIALS                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CLAMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/18/17        (H)        PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                              
01/18/17        (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                      
01/18/17        (H)        STA, JUD                                                                                             
02/16/17        (H)        STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 5                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: UNIFORM RULES: COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) EASTMAN                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/06/17        (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                      
02/06/17        (H)        STA, JUD                                                                                             
02/16/17        (H)        STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA KLOSTER, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB                                                              
3, on behalf of Representative Tuck, prime sponsor.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MATT CLAMAN                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 20, as prime sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SARA PERMAN, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  HB  20 on  behalf of  Representative                                                        
Claman, prime sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NANCY MEADE, General Council                                                                                                    
Administrative Staff                                                                                                            
Office of the Administrative Director                                                                                           
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered  questions  during  the  hearing on  HB                                                       
20.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAVID EASTMAN                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HCR 5, as prime sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:07:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JONATHAN   KREISS-TOMKINS   called   the  House  State  Affairs                                                        
Standing    Committee     meeting    to    order     at    3:07    p.m.                                                         
Representatives    Birch,  Johnson,   Josephson,   Knopp,   Wool,   and                                                         
Kreiss-Tomkins     were    present    at    the    call    to   order.                                                          
Representative Tuck arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
              HB 3-NATL GUARD LEAVE/REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:08:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  announced   that the  first  order  of business                                                          
would  be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  3,  "An  Act relating   to the  employment                                                          
rights  of employees  in  the state  who are  members of  the National                                                          
Guard  of  another  state,   territory,  or  district   of the  United                                                          
States."    [Before  the  committee   was  committee  substitute   (CS)                                                         
for HB 3 (MLV).]                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL  asked   for  clarification   that  HB   3  would                                                         
apply  to  Alaskan  residents  who  are  also  members  of  a National                                                          
Guard in another state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:09:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA  KLOSTER,  Staff,   Representative  Chris  Tuck,  Alaska   State                                                         
Legislature,  on  behalf  of Representative   Tuck,  prime  sponsor  of                                                         
HB  3,  referred  to  page  1  of  HB  3, beginning   on  line  8,  and                                                         
paraphrased,   "a  resident   of  the  state   and  a  member   of  the                                                         
National  Guard  of another  state  to perform  active  National  Guard                                                         
service  under  that  state law."    She explained   that HB  3 refers                                                          
to  a  resident   of  Alaska   who  is  serving   in  another  state's                                                          
National   Guard   and  gets   called  to   service.     The  proposed                                                          
legislation  would  bestow  reemployment   rights  to that  individual                                                          
upon his/her return to Alaska.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:10:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    KNOPP   moved   to  report   CSHB   3(MLV)   out   of                                                         
committee  with  individual   recommendations   and  the  accompanying                                                          
fiscal   notes.     There  being   no  objection,   CSHB   3(MLV)   was                                                         
reported from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:10:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at ease from 3:10 p.m. to 3:12 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
             HB 20-SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGE: ELECTED OFFICIALS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:11:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   announced  that  the  next  order  of business                                                          
would   be  HOUSE  BILL   NO.  20,  "An   Act  relating   to  marriage                                                          
solemnization;   and  authorizing  elected  public   officials  in  the                                                         
state to solemnize marriages."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MATT CLAMAN,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  introduced                                                          
HB  20,   as  prime   sponsor.     He  stated   that   in  financially                                                          
challenging   times,  the  elected   officials  of  the  Alaska   State                                                         
Legislature   have   a  role  in  reducing   "red   tape"  and  making                                                          
government   accessible   to  the  public.     He  asserted  that   his                                                         
intent   for   introducing   HB   20   is   to  make   marriage    more                                                         
accessible.    He relayed  that  HB  20 would  allow  couples  to  have                                                         
their  marriages   solemnized  directly   by elected   officials.    He                                                         
said  that performing   marriage  ceremonies  is  a privilege,  and  he                                                         
expressed  that  elected officials   would be  fortunate  to have  that                                                         
opportunity.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:14:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  PERMAN,   Staff,  Representative   Matt   Claman,  Alaska   State                                                         
Legislature,  presented  HB  20 on  behalf of  Representative  Claman,                                                          
prime  sponsor.   She  stated  that  HB 20  would  amend  two statutes                                                          
within  the  Alaska  Marriage   Code,  and  the  changes  would   allow                                                         
marriages  to  be solemnized  by  elected  officials  of the  State  of                                                         
Alaska.    She  relayed  that  Section  1  of  HB  20  would  amend  AS                                                         
25.05.261(a),   which  relates   to  who  may  solemnize  a  marriage.                                                          
She said  that  currently  the statute  reads  that a marriage  may  be                                                         
solemnized  by:   a  minister,  priest,  or  rabbi  [of any  church  or                                                         
congregation   in   the  state];   a  commissioned    officer  of   the                                                         
Salvation  Army;  a  marriage  commissioner   or judicial   officer  of                                                         
the  state;   or   before  or   in  any   religious   organization   or                                                         
congregation.    She  said that  HB  20 would  change  the  statute  to                                                         
include   individuals   holding  elected   office   in  the  State   of                                                         
Alaska.   She  went on  to say  that Section  2  of HB 20  would  amend                                                         
the  statute  to specify  that  a marriage  solemnized  by  an elected                                                          
official is considered valid.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERMAN stated  that  the purpose  of  HB 20  is to  make marriage                                                          
accessible    for  all   Alaskans.      She   maintained    that   [the                                                         
institution  of]  marriage  "opens  several doors,"  including  access                                                          
to  healthcare  and  eligibility   for  family  medical   leave.    She                                                         
said  that  there are  over  1,100  places  in federal  law,  relating                                                          
to  programs,  where  being  married   "really  makes  a  difference."                                                          
She  relayed  that  the  sponsor   believes  HB  20  to  be  a "family                                                          
first"  bill,  and  it  allows  people  to  receive  better  benefits,                                                          
which  is  good for  all  Alaskans.    She offered  that  HB  20  would                                                         
allow  elected  officials  to be  good  stewards  of government.    She                                                         
added  that it  would encourage  elected  officials  to  interact  on a                                                         
one-on-one  basis  with constituents,   providing  a service  that  has                                                         
a  long-lasting  impact   on them.    She  conceded   that  the Alaska                                                          
Marriage  Code  currently   allows  anyone  to  apply  for  a marriage                                                          
commissioner   appointment;    however,   there  is   a  $25  fee;   it                                                         
requires  application  for  a  marriage  license  with the  Department                                                          
of   Health   and   Social   Services    (DHSS);   and   it   requires                                                          
application   for the  marriage   commissioner  appointment   with  the                                                         
Alaska  Court  System.   She  maintained  that  HB  20 would  simplify                                                          
the process.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERMAN  offered  that  HB 20  would  be advantageous   to couples                                                          
not  affiliated  with  a  particular   religious  institution.     They                                                         
would  be  able  to  ask  an elected   official  [to  solemnize   their                                                         
marriage]   rather  than  have   to  [ask  someone  to]  apply   for  a                                                         
marriage   commissioner  appointment.     She  concluded   that  HB  20                                                         
would  make a  real difference   in small  towns  or rural  areas  with                                                         
somewhat  limited   resources  by  allowing  a  couple  the  option  of                                                         
asking an elected official to conduct a marriage ceremony.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. PERMAN  mentioned  that  DHSS assigned  a  zero fiscal  note to  HB                                                         
20.   She  added  that  HB 20  would  remove  the  financial  cost  for                                                         
citizens   who  would  be   paying  the  $25   fee  for  the  marriage                                                          
commissioner's appointment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:17:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH asked  what  duties an  elected  official  would                                                         
have  in  solemnizing   a marriage,   with  regard  to  verifying   the                                                         
paper work and signing the marriage certificate.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN responded  that  there  is a two-step  process                                                          
for marriages.    The couple  must  get a marriage  license  from  DHSS                                                         
and  then  find  someone  to  solemnize,   or  perform,  the  marriage                                                          
ceremony.    He opined  that  the  official  performing   the marriage                                                          
would  not have  a duty to  verify  the paperwork,  but  would sign  as                                                         
the  officiating  person   and attach  the  authorizing   certificate.                                                          
He  added  that the  marrying  couple   would also  need  to  sign  the                                                         
certificate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH   mentioned   that  witness   signatures   would                                                         
also be required.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:20:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   asked if  HB  20 would  apply  to  all elected                                                          
office holders, even school board members.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERMAN  answered   yes,  the  legislation   would  apply   to  all                                                         
elected   officials  holding   public  office   within  the  State   of                                                         
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked  if HB  20 would  include  tribal council                                                          
members and if further definition is needed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN  responded  that  staff did  not  research  the                                                         
question  of  tribal   officials.    He  said  HB  20  was  written  to                                                         
allow  a public  official  to perform  a marriage  ceremony  by virtue                                                          
of  his/her   being   elected,   and   this   would  include   someone                                                          
appointed to fill an elected seat.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:21:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    JOHNSON   asked   if   an   elected   official    can                                                         
relinquish the privilege of officiating a marriage ceremony.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERMAN  replied   yes.   Section   1,  subsection  (a)  specifies                                                          
that  marriages  "may"  be  solemnized,   rather  than  "shall."    She                                                         
said this would give one the opportunity to decline.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    JOHNSON   asked  for   clarification    that  as   an                                                         
elected  official,   she  would  not   have  the  title  of  "marriage                                                          
officiant."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERMAN  confirmed  that Representative   Johnson  would  not  have                                                         
that  title   and  would   not  be  obligated   to   perform  marriage                                                          
ceremonies.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    JOHNSON   stated   that   she   has   a   letter   of                                                         
opposition  because  of  the concern  that  HB 20  could  be construed                                                          
as a duty of an elected official - to solemnize marriages.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN  responded  that  he  did  not view  HB  20  as                                                         
creating  a  duty.    Performing   a  marriage  ceremony   would  be  a                                                         
choice,  not a  requirement.   He  added that  First Amendment  rights                                                          
have  guaranteed  that  religious  officials  may  decline  to perform                                                          
marriage  ceremonies  both  for religious  or  any other  reasons.   He                                                         
reiterated   that  HB  20  would  not  create  a  duty   to perform   a                                                         
marriage   function,   and   an   elected   official   could   not   be                                                         
compelled to perform a ceremony against his/her will.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON asked  if there  was  an expectation  that  an                                                         
elected  official  would  perform  a  marriage  ceremony  and  have  to                                                         
give a reason for not wanting to do so.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN  stated  his  belief   that  it  would  not  be                                                         
necessary  to give  a reason  for not  wanting  to perform  a marriage                                                          
ceremony.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  clarified  that  the answer  to  Representative                                                          
Johnson's question is "no."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:25:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL  asked  if  there  is  a  shortage  of  marrying                                                          
officials.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERMAN responded   that there  is  likely no  shortage  of people                                                          
available  to  perform  marriage  ceremonies,  because  of  the option                                                          
to  apply for  a  marriage  commissioner  appointment.    She  said  HB                                                         
20 would provide an alternate route to simplify the process.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL said  his  only concern  is  that  someone  might                                                         
pressure  an  elected  official  to  perform  a marriage   ceremony  if                                                         
no one  else  was available  and  insist  that it  was  his/her public                                                          
duty.   He  added that  he  understands  the concern  that  performing                                                          
marriage   ceremonies  might  be  viewed   as  another  obligation   of                                                         
public office.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP requested  more  clarity  in the  definition  of                                                         
public  official  and whom  that  included.   He  asked if  an elected                                                          
official    would   include    those   in   utility    companies    and                                                         
cooperatives.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:29:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN referred   to page  1 of  HB 20,  beginning  on                                                         
line  6, which  states "elective  public  office".   He  asserted  that                                                         
an  elected  official  of  a utility   company  does  not  hold public                                                          
office,  but  corporate   office.   He  opined  that  the  use  of  the                                                         
term  "public   office"  would  also  preclude   a  tribal  government                                                          
official.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:30:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  asked how  many  people  pay  the $25  fee  and                                                         
what agency collects that money.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:31:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  MEADE,  General   Council,  Administrative   Staff,   Office  of                                                         
the  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court  System,  testified  that                                                         
court   system   personnel   perform   many   non-religious   marriage                                                          
ceremonies   and issue  the  marriage   commissions.    She  said  that                                                         
each  marriage  ceremony  performed  through  the  court  system  costs                                                         
$25,  and last  year there  were about  650 of  them.   She added  that                                                         
the  average  number   is  about  600-650  per  year,  and   the  court                                                         
system  collects  $25 for  each  one.   She stated  that  in 2016,  the                                                         
court  system  issued  marriage   commissions  to  1,678  individuals,                                                          
who  each paid  $25  for a  commission.    She relayed  that  the  fees                                                         
are  collected  by  the  court   system  and  are  deposited  directly                                                          
into  the general  fund.   She added  that the  court system  does  not                                                         
retain any of its filing fees.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  mentioned  that  about  1,600  commissions   at                                                         
$25  each comes  to  [$40,000],  and  he  asked for  clarification   of                                                         
the "600" number mentioned.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE clarified   that "650"  represents  the  number  of times  a                                                         
judge,  law  clerk,  or  magistrate   performed  a  marriage  ceremony                                                          
[in 2016].   She  confirmed  that the  court  system budget  would  not                                                         
be affected by HB 20.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  estimated  that  about  2,200  marriages   were                                                         
outside of the religious realm.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:33:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE,  in response   to Representative   Wool,  reiterated   that                                                         
the 600-plus  marriage  ceremonies   conducted  at the  courthouse  are                                                         
$25 each.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:33:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON offered  that  she doesn't  see  the need  for                                                         
HB 20.   She  offered  that  she has  performed  marriage  ceremonies,                                                          
and any  elected  official  can already  perform  marriage  ceremonies                                                          
after applying for the marriage commission and paying the $25.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN   speculated   that   Representative   Johnson                                                          
enjoyed  performing   marriage  ceremonies   for  family  and  friends                                                          
when  she was  Mayor of  Palmer.   He offered  that  HB 20  would  make                                                         
it  more convenient   for an  elected  official  to do  the  same.   He                                                         
attested  that  under  HB  20, government   would  be more  accessible                                                          
to the public and would be viewed more favorably.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON  asked,   "What  brought  this   up  and  what                                                         
problem are we solving?"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN  opined that  part  of a  legislator's  job  in                                                         
government   is  to  look  for  ways  for   government  to  work   more                                                         
effectively   and efficiently   for  the  public.    He asserted   that                                                         
making  it easier  for people  to go  through  the process  of getting                                                          
married is "a positive."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON  stated that  one  does not  have  to wait  to                                                         
get  a  form  and   spend  money  before   being  able  to  perform   a                                                         
marriage ceremony.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:38:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   opened  public  testimony   on HB  20.    After                                                         
ascertaining   that  there  was  no  one  who wished   to testify,   he                                                         
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[HB 20 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
             HCR 5-UNIFORM RULES: COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  announced   that the  final  order  of business                                                          
would   be  HOUSE   CONCURRENT   RESOLUTION    NO.  5,   Proposing   an                                                         
amendment  to  the  Uniform  Rules  of the  Alaska  State  Legislature                                                          
relating to the membership of the Committee on Committees.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:39:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at ease between 3:39 p.m. and 3:42 p.m.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAVID  EASTMAN, Alaska State Legislature,  presented HCR                                                         
5, as  prime sponsor, with  the use of  a PowerPoint presentation.   He                                                         
relayed  that HCR 5  proposes a  change to  the Uniform  Rules [of  the                                                         
Alaska State Legislature].  He stated  that HCR 5 would ensure that the                                                         
presiding  officer  of  each  legislative body  has  the  authority  to                                                         
appoint a sufficient number of members  to the Committee on Committees.                                                         
He  explained  that  [at  the   beginning  of]  each  legislature,  the                                                         
legislative  body  determines  the  rules, and  the  House  and  Senate                                                         
concur.   He asserted that  the public's role  is to make  certain that                                                         
the legislature follows those rules.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN referred to Slide  1, titled "House Committee on                                                         
Committees  Membership," to  point out  that up until  1993, the  House                                                         
membership  on the  Committee on  Committees was  five and  thereafter,                                                         
more  than  five.    He  offered that  the  Senate  membership  on  the                                                         
committee has been  maintained at five over that same  period, as shown                                                         
on  Slide  3,  titled  "Senate  Committee  on  Committees  Membership."                                                         
Representative Eastman  read from Rule  1 of  the Uniform Rules  of the                                                         
Alaska State Legislature,  subsection (e), as follows:   "The presiding                                                         
officer shall announce, not later than  the day following election, the                                                         
appointment of  a Committee  on Committees  consisting of  five members                                                         
including  the presiding  officer."   He asserted  that this  statement                                                         
gives the public an expectation that  the House Committee on Committees                                                         
will consist  of five members.   He then referred  to Slide 4  to point                                                         
out that on  the [Alaska State Legislature] website,  seven members are                                                         
listed.   He asserted that  the goal  of HCR 5  is to "bridge  the gap"                                                         
between  public  expectation  and  that  which  is  determined  by  the                                                         
legislature,  and to  arrive at  a  number of  members that  is in  the                                                         
public's best interest.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS    mentioned  a  forthcoming   amendment   to  be                                                         
introduced by Representative Knopp.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP   questioned  the  reason   for  inserting   the                                                         
words  "at  least"  before  "five  members",  if  the current  Uniform                                                          
Rules  specify  five  members  and  Representative   Eastman's  intent                                                          
[for  introducing   HCR  5]  is  to  maintain   consistency   with  the                                                         
Uniform Rules.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN   asked  if   the  amendment   would  replace                                                          
"five" with "seven".                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP  explained  that  the  amendment  would  insert                                                          
"and  the Committee  on Committees"   in Section  1 of HCR  5, on  page                                                         
1,  line 12,  following  "committee".     He stated  that  Legislative                                                          
Legal   and  Research   Services  recommended   that   the  number   of                                                         
members  [stated  in the  Uniform  Rules]  be changed  to  "seven"  not                                                         
"five",   because  that  is  the  current   number  of  members.     He                                                         
pointed  out  that  the Senate  has  five  members  on the  committee,                                                          
and the  current  language  does specify  five.   He asserted  that  he                                                         
is not  comfortable  with  the wording  "at least"  because  it is  not                                                         
specific,  and  he prefers  a  firm number.    He suggested  retaining                                                          
the wording in the Uniform Rules that specifies five members.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN  replied  that  the  Uniform  Rules  could  be                                                         
left  as  is,  but  the  current   presiding  officer  has   chosen  to                                                         
appoint  seven  members  to  the  committee.    He added  that  if  the                                                         
legislature  anticipated   that  this practice   would continue,   then                                                         
the  Uniform   Rules   should  be  changed   to  give   the  presiding                                                          
officer  that authority.    He offered  that the  purpose  of HCR  5 is                                                         
not  to restrict   the presiding   officer  in appointing   members  of                                                         
the  Committee  on  Committees,  but  to  give him/her  the  authority                                                          
to  make  whatever  determination   is in  the  best  interest  of  the                                                         
House  of Representatives.     He opined  that  if  the Uniform   Rules                                                         
are changed  to  specify  seven, then  the Senate  would  question  the                                                         
requirement    to   have   seven   members   on   the   Committee    on                                                         
Committees,   because  it is  a  very  large  portion  of  its twenty-                                                          
member  total.    He  concluded  that  allowing  flexibility   to  each                                                         
chamber  of  the  legislature  to  decide  on  the  number  of members                                                          
avoids that conflict.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP corrected  himself  and  said that  Legislative                                                          
Legal  and Research  Services  did  not request  the Uniform  Rules  to                                                         
state  seven members,  but  recommended  that  the number  be specific                                                          
and not  flexible.   He  stated that  Legislative  Legal  and Research                                                          
Services did not want the words "at least" in the Uniform Rules.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:50:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  referred  to  Slide 4  and  stated  that  there                                                         
were  two minority   members  among  the seven  members  of  the  House                                                         
Committee   on  Committees.      He  suggested   that   based  on   the                                                         
proportion  of  minority  members  in the  full House,  the  number  of                                                         
minority  members  on  the House  Committee  on  Committees  should  be                                                         
three.    He  asked  if  the  Uniform   Rules  require  the  presiding                                                          
officer to restructure the committee to reflect that proportion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN  responded   that  HCR  5  would  not  affect                                                          
representation   on  the  Committee  on  Committees,   only  the  total                                                         
number  of  the  committee's  members.    He  stated  that  the Senate                                                          
has    historically      maintained     a    proportional     minority                                                          
representation.     He  asserted   that  as   the  Uniform  Rules   are                                                         
currently  written,  the  standing  committees  are  required  to  have                                                         
proportional  minority  representation,   but  the special  committees                                                          
and  the  Committee  on  Committees  are  not.   He  added  that  these                                                         
other   committees   do   have   minority   representation,    and   he                                                         
anticipates   that  would  continue.    He  stated  that  HCR  5  would                                                         
require  proportional  minority  representation   on the  Committee  on                                                         
Committees.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH offered  that  the minority  representation   on                                                         
the Committee on Committees is currently "out of balance."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   opined  that  HCR  5  reflects  the  sponsor's                                                          
intent to resolve that issue.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN   responded   that  there  is  some   "out  of                                                         
balance"  [regarding  minority   representation  on  the  Committee  on                                                         
Committees]  but  opined that  the primary  effort  of HCR  5 would  be                                                         
to align  the  Uniform Rules  with  public expectation.    He asserted                                                          
that  if the Committee  on  Committees  were  treated like  a standing                                                          
committee,  then  it  would  require  two  members  from  the minority                                                          
if  it  is  a  five-member  committee   and  three  members   from  the                                                         
minority if it is a seven-member committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:54:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS stated that HCR 5 would be held over.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:54:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AJOURNMENT                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:55                                                                  
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0020 Hearing Request Memo 2.2.2017.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB0020 Sponsor Statement 2.8.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB0020 ver A 2.8.17.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB0020 Supporting Document - Texas Bill 2.8.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB020 Fiscal Note HSS 2.14.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HCR005 Sponsor Statement 2.9.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 5
HCR005 ver A 2.9.17.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 5
HB020 Alaskans Together for Equality Letter of Support 2.16.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HCR005A Additional Documents 2.16.17.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 5
HCR005A PowerPoint 2.16.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 5