Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/08/2018 03:15 PM STATE AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SCR 10 ALASKA YEAR OF INNOVATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSCR 10(STA) Out of Committee
+= HB 400 FEES FOR FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Indirect Expenditure Hearings TELECONFERENCED
<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
+= HB 71 NO ST. EMPLOYEE PAY INCREASE FOR 2 YRS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 184 DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.;SEXUAL ORIENT. TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HJR 38 AK RAILROAD TRANSFER ACT; CONVEYANCES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HJR 38 Out of Committee
+= HB 310 MARRIAGE AND MINIMUM AGE FOR MARRIAGE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 8, 2018                                                                                          
                           3:21 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Andy Josephson (alternate)                                                                                       
Representative Chuck Kopp (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 10(STA)                                                                                 
Proclaiming 2019 to be the Year of Innovation in Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSCR 10(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 71                                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to compensation,  merit  increases,  and  pay                                                               
increments for certain public  officials, officers, and employees                                                               
not covered  by collective  bargaining agreements;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 400                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the collection of fees by the Department of                                                                 
Public Safety for fire and explosion prevention and safety                                                                      
services."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 38                                                                                                   
Relating to certain conveyances to the Alaska Railroad                                                                          
Corporation under the Alaska Railroad Transfer Act of 1982.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HJR 38 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 310                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the minimum age of eligibility for                                                                          
marriage."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Indirect Expenditure Hearings                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - REMOVED FROM AGENDA                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 184                                                                                                              
"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."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR 10                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA YEAR OF INNOVATION                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COSTELLO                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
04/07/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/07/17       (S)       L&C, STA                                                                                               
04/10/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/10/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/10/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/11/17       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/11/17       (S)       Moved CSSCR 10(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/11/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/12/17       (S)       L&C RPT CS  4DP 1AM    NEW TITLE                                                                       
04/12/17       (S)       DP: COSTELLO, HUGHES, MEYER, GARDNER                                                                   
04/12/17       (S)       AM: STEVENS                                                                                            
02/01/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/01/18       (S)       Moved CSSCR 10(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/01/18       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/02/18       (S)       STA RPT CS  2DP 2NR NEW TITLE                                                                          
02/02/18       (S)       DP: MEYER, EGAN                                                                                        
02/02/18       (S)       NR: WILSON, GIESSEL                                                                                    
02/09/18       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
02/09/18       (S)       VERSION: CSSCR 10(STA)                                                                                 
02/12/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/12/18       (H)       STA, L&C                                                                                               
03/06/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/06/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  71                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NO ST. EMPLOYEE PAY INCREASE FOR 2 YRS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/20/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/20/17       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/31/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
01/31/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/31/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 400                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FEES FOR FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
02/28/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/28/18       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/01/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/01/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 38                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK RAILROAD TRANSFER ACT; CONVEYANCES                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): KOPP                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
02/21/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/21/18       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/27/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/27/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/01/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/01/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 310                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MARRIAGE AND MINIMUM AGE FOR MARRIAGE                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): CLAMAN                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/26/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/26/18       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/22/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/22/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/06/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/06/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LESLIE RIDLE, Commissioner Designee                                                                                             
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   On behalf  of the  House Rules  Committee,                                                             
sponsor of HB 71, by  request of the governor, answered questions                                                               
on Version O.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KATE SHEEHAN, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Personnel and Labor Relations (DPLR)                                                                                
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented Version O on behalf  of the House                                                             
Rules Committee,  sponsor of HB  71, by request of  the governor,                                                               
by  reviewing  the  sectional analysis  and  the  explanation  of                                                               
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CATHY SCHLINGHEYDE, Staff                                                                                                       
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented Amendment  1 to HB 400  on behalf                                                             
of the House State Affairs Standing Committee, prime sponsor.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DAVID TYLER, Director State Fire Marshall                                                                                       
Division of Fire and Life Safety (DFLS)                                                                                         
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and  answered questions during the                                                             
hearing on HB 400.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK KOPP                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Summarized  HJR 38,  as prime  sponsor, and                                                             
responded to the Alaska Railroad  Corporation (ARRC) statement of                                                               
opposition.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:21:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS  called  the  House State  Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:21   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  LeDoux,  Wool,  Birch, and  Kreiss-Tomkins  were                                                               
present at the call to  order.  Representative Johnson arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                SCR 10-ALASKA YEAR OF INNOVATION                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
3:23:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would  be  CS  FOR  SENATE  CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION  NO.  10(STA),                                                               
Proclaiming 2019 to be the Year of Innovation in Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:23:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  moved  to  report CSSCR  10(STA)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero fiscal  note.  There  being no objection, CSSCR  10(STA) was                                                               
reported from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         HB  71-NO ST. EMPLOYEE PAY INCREASE FOR 2 YRS                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
3:24:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 71, "An  Act relating  to compensation,                                                               
merit   increases,  and   pay  increments   for  certain   public                                                               
officials,  officers, and  employees  not  covered by  collective                                                               
bargaining agreements; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:24:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 3:24 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:24:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  referred   to  the  forthcoming  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 71,  [labeled 30-GH1018\O, Wayne, 2/28/18,                                                               
and referred to as "Version O"].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:25:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 3:25 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:25:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS requested  a synopsis of Version  O from the                                                               
Department of Administration (DOA) staff.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:26:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LESLIE    RIDLE,    Commissioner    Designee,    Department    of                                                               
Administration  (DOA),  commented  that  the  changes  to  HB  71                                                               
resulted  from  collaboration between  DOA  and  the House  State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:26:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  SHEEHAN,   Director,  Division   of  Personnel   and  Labor                                                               
Relations   (DPLR),    Department   of    Administration   (DOA),                                                               
paraphrased from the document, entitled  "CS HB 71 Explanation of                                                               
Changes,"  included  in  the  committee  packet,  which  read  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1:  Modified from  original bill.  This section                                                                    
     maintains that the Governor may  waive a portion of his                                                                    
     annual  salary  but  no  longer  restricts  the  waiver                                                                    
     during  the period  of July  1, 2017  through June  30,                                                                    
     2019.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section   2:  New   section.   Removes  language   that                                                                    
     temporary salary  schedules do  not affect  salaries of                                                                    
     employees in  a bargaining unit represented  by a labor                                                                    
     union   established   under   the   Public   Employment                                                                    
     Relations Act  and adds  the term  "pay period"  to the                                                                    
     title.  Language  that  was removed  is  now  found  in                                                                    
     section 3 of the bill.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section  3: New  section.  Allows the  Director of  the                                                                    
     Division  of  Personnel  to establish  a  two-week  pay                                                                    
     period  for biweekly  payment of  a monthly  salary. It                                                                    
     sets  forth  the manner  in  which  the Director  shall                                                                    
     determine  the amount  paid  biweekly. Recognizes  that                                                                    
     this  section   does  not  apply  to   employees  in  a                                                                    
     bargaining   unit   represented   by  a   labor   union                                                                    
     established under the Public Employment Relations Act.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN added that currently  the pay period is semi-monthly,                                                               
and the  hours are  variable; under the  biweekly pay  period the                                                               
hours would be  consistent at 75 hours per every  two weeks.  She                                                               
referred to Section  3(b)(1)-(5) [page 2, lines  8-19, of Version                                                               
O] and  explained that  the five paragraphs  in the  section show                                                               
the  calculations for  figuring the  hourly, daily,  and biweekly                                                               
rates.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:29:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  referred to  Section 3(c) [page  2, lines  20-22] to                                                               
point  out the  language  removed  from Section  2  and put  into                                                               
Section  3.    It  states  that Section  3  would  not  apply  to                                                               
employees covered by collective  bargaining agreements; their pay                                                               
periods would be subject to negotiated bargaining agreements.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SHEEHAN referred  to Section  4  [page 2,  lines 23-27]  and                                                               
stated  that  it  is  a  new section  which  clarifies  that  the                                                               
proposed  legislation  would   expressly  modify  pay  provisions                                                               
applicable to the governor.   She explained that this is included                                                               
because by  statute, legislation  is needed to  expressly provide                                                               
for the change in salary.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  relayed that Sections  5-7 address  effective dates:                                                               
Section 5  states that  the governor's ability  to waive  some of                                                               
his salary  would be  retroactive to January  1, 2018;  Section 6                                                               
states  that   Sections  1,  4,   and  5  would   take  effective                                                               
immediately; and Section 7 states that  Sections 2 and 3 would be                                                               
effective July 1, 2018.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:30:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether Section  1(b) of  Version O                                                               
[page 1, lines 6-8] has anything  to do with the deductibility of                                                               
charitable contributions under federal tax law.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE asked for clarification of the question.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  explained that  her question  is:   If the                                                               
governor does not  want to take part of his  salary, why wouldn't                                                               
he write  a check  back to  the State of  Alaska?   Why is  a law                                                               
necessary  unless  he  wished  to   take  a  charitable  donation                                                               
deduction for federal tax purposes?                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE answered that under  Version O, the portion of                                                               
salary  that  the   governor  does  not  receive   would  not  be                                                               
considered a charitable donation for  tax purposes; the intent of                                                               
Version O is to preclude the  governor from paying federal tax on                                                               
money he will not receive.   She said that if the governor writes                                                               
a check back to  the state, it would be necessary  for him to pay                                                               
taxes on  it, because it would  be paid salary.   She opined that                                                               
she  doubts  that the  money  could  be considered  a  charitable                                                               
donation.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX relayed  that she  wanted to  clarify that                                                               
the proposed legislation was regarding federal tax law.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  restated that the governor  would be liable                                                               
for paying  tax on his  entire salary even  if he writes  a check                                                               
back  to the  state for  the portion  of the  salary he  does not                                                               
choose to take.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  responded, that's correct.   Under Version O,                                                               
he would accept the smaller amount  and not have to write a check                                                               
back  to  the  state  for  the balance  and,  therefore,  not  be                                                               
required to pay taxes on salary he did not receive.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:32:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  asked,  "What   happened  to  the  bill  I                                                               
actually  kind of  liked which  had to  do with  ... freezes  for                                                               
unrepresented  employees?"    He  maintained  that  the  original                                                               
version of  HB 71 would have  accomplished that.  He  stated that                                                               
he attempted  to make a  motion on the  House floor to  enact the                                                               
cost savings that would have been  realized by a freeze, and this                                                               
version  represents  a  significant   change  from  the  original                                                               
version.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked whether  his interpretation of Version                                                               
O is  correct:  the  governor wants to  avoid being taxed  on his                                                               
income, and Version O would permit  the employer - the state - to                                                               
waive that portion of his salary as income.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE replied  that  Version O  was not  introduced                                                               
because the governor  does not want to pay taxes;  the dates have                                                               
been removed so  that the provision could apply  to any governor.                                                               
Version O would  remove the necessity to pay taxes  on money that                                                               
the governor is not keeping;  if the governor receives the salary                                                               
then returns it, he would have to pay taxes on it.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asserted that  he finds  it ironic  that an                                                               
administration that  has been working  to impose income  taxes on                                                               
working Alaskans  is advancing legislation that  would permit the                                                               
governor of that administration to  avoid federal income taxes on                                                               
his pay.   He said that  most people who want  to make charitable                                                               
donations, receive  the pay, then  write a check to  their church                                                               
or  charity  of choice.    He  maintained  that if  the  governor                                                               
chooses to redirect  his compensation to a charity  of his choice                                                               
- the State of  Alaska or any other - he is  permitted to do that                                                               
currently.  He expressed his  dissatisfaction with the changes in                                                               
HB 71,  which was  intended to  freeze salaries  to unrepresented                                                               
state employees, and  now is a federal tax  avoidance measure for                                                               
the governor.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  answered that the  original version of  HB 71                                                               
had the same provision for  the governor's salary as does Version                                                               
O; the  only difference is  the elimination of  dates restricting                                                               
the  waiver  to  a  certain  period.   She  maintained  that  the                                                               
governor is  not trying  to avoid paying  income tax,  but rather                                                               
does not  want to  take a full  salary.  He  or any  governor who                                                               
wishes to take  advantage of this provision, will  pay income tax                                                               
on  all the  salary  he/she  receives.   The  intent  is for  the                                                               
governor to be able to reduce his/her salary.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE conceded  that the  portion of  HB 71,  which                                                               
called for pay freezes for  state employees, was removed from the                                                               
proposed  legislation.   She  maintained that  DOA  has not  been                                                               
successful  in  negotiating such  a  provision  with any  of  the                                                               
bargaining units.   She  added that  even with  that elimination,                                                               
Version O retains the provision  addressing the governor reducing                                                               
his/her  salary  and adds  the  new  section -  transitioning  to                                                               
biweekly pay -  which is something that the  unions and employees                                                               
have  requested for  quite some  time.   It is  a more  efficient                                                               
system for payroll.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:37:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH stated  that he  agrees with  the provision                                                               
simplifying  payroll; however,  he  expressed that  he is  deeply                                                               
disappointed that  the proposed  legislation does not  retain the                                                               
provision on  pay freezes.   He maintained that  his constituents                                                               
and the  public support  restrictions on  spending and  new state                                                               
government hires.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:37:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  restated that Version O  allows the governor                                                               
to not take a paycheck and not pay taxes on money not received.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE  confirmed  that the  governor's  end-of-year                                                               
Internal Revenue Service  (IRS) Form W2 would  reflect the amount                                                               
of salary that he takes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  continued by  saying that Version  O changes                                                               
payroll  to  every  other  Friday,  rather  than  the  first  and                                                               
fifteenth  of the  month.    He asked  for  confirmation that  to                                                               
retain the pay freezes in the  original version of HB 71, DOA and                                                               
the bargaining units would have to come to an agreement.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE explained  that the original version  of HB 71                                                               
only  applied  to  unrepresented   employees;  for  anyone  under                                                               
contract, the provision would have  to be negotiated; and DOA has                                                               
attempted to do that.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  whether there  was any  reason for                                                               
not offering that  option [reduced salary] to  any state employee                                                               
- not  just the  governor.   She suggested  that there  are other                                                               
reasons a person  might want to take advantage  of the provision,                                                               
such as to avoid being in a higher tax bracket.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE replied  that she  is  not sure  it could  be                                                               
offered to every  class of employee because of federal  law.  She                                                               
maintained that the governor is  in a different category in state                                                               
statute  than  other  employees.     She  offered  to  pose  that                                                               
possibility to DOA's attorney.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:40:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS agreed that  adding other classifications to                                                               
the proposed legislation may be logical.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE  offered  to  find out  and  reiterated  that                                                               
federal law may interfere with that possibility.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:40:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL referred  to a proposal by  the governor that                                                               
if  "something didn't  happen  by a  certain  day," the  governor                                                               
would  forego his  pay and  the legislature  would as  well.   He                                                               
asked  hypothetically:   If the  legislators'  pay was  suspended                                                               
after day  120 of the legislative  session for failure to  pass a                                                               
budget, would they  be liable for federal tax on  the salary they                                                               
were not receiving if they are not included in the HB 71 waiver.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  offered that the governor's  proposal [HB 283                                                               
and SB  141] only applied  to per  diem, and legislators  are not                                                               
currently taxed on per diem.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL expressed  his understanding  that different                                                               
proposals  were  introduced.   He  suggested  that if  there  was                                                               
legislation  resulting in  a reduction  to  legislators' pay  for                                                               
some  reason, they  would be  liable  for federal  tax, unless  a                                                               
provision such as in Version O was in place to include them.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:42:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  suggested that possibly he  was referring                                                               
to a bill  she introduced eliminating per diem after  90 days [of                                                               
the legislative session]; however, per diem does not get taxed.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  moved to adopt  the CS for HB  71, Version                                                               
30-GH1018\O, Wayne, 2/28/18, as the working document.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH objected.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives Wool,  LeDoux, and                                                               
Kreiss-Tomkins  voted in  favor of  adopting  the CS  for HB  71.                                                               
Representatives Birch  and Johnson voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                               
Version O was adopted as a work draft by a vote of 3-2.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
            HB 400-FEES FOR FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
3:44:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 400, "An Act relating  to the collection                                                               
of  fees  by  the  Department  of  Public  Safety  for  fire  and                                                               
explosion prevention and safety services."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Because of  their length, some  amendments discussed  or adopted                                                               
during the  meeting are  found at  the end of  the minutes  of HB                                                               
400.  Shorter amendments are included in the main text.]                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:45:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CATHY  SCHLINGHEYDE,   Staff,  Representative   Jonathan  Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins,  Alaska State  Legislature,  on behalf  the House  State                                                               
Affairs Standing  Committee, prime  sponsor of HB  400, presented                                                               
Amendment  1,  labeled  30-LS1490\A.1, Bannister,  3/7/18,  which                                                               
read:  [The text  of Amendment  1  is listed  at the  end of  the                                                               
3/8/18 minutes of HB 400.]                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHLINGHEYDE  relayed that Amendment 1  would establish fines                                                               
for the  violation of  fire safety  measures; currently  they are                                                               
listed  as misdemeanors;  the Department  of Public  Safety (DPS)                                                               
would  like  to move  these  violations  out of  the  misdemeanor                                                               
category and assign  them statutorily defined fines.   She stated                                                               
that  Section  2 of  Amendment  1,  [page  1, lines  8-14]  would                                                               
establish the fines.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHLINGHEYDE  offered that Section  3, [page 1, lines  16, to                                                               
page 3, line 25], would allow  DPS to issue the citations for the                                                               
fines  and  would establish  a  timeline  and procedure  for  the                                                               
administration.   She  added that  subsection (p)  of Section  3,                                                               
[page  3,  lines  16-19],  would  remove  the  offense  from  the                                                               
misdemeanor section to  ensure there is not a  double penalty for                                                               
the same offense.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:46:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  whether  the fines  relate  to  fire                                                               
protection and safety.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHLINGHEYDE answered yes.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:47:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID TYLER, Director  State Fire Marshall, Division  of Fire and                                                               
Life  Safety (DFLS),  Department of  Public Safety  (DPS), stated                                                               
that currently the only recourse  for DFLS to address a violation                                                               
is  to issue  a warning  or charge  the offender  with a  Class B                                                               
misdemeanor.   The fines offer  a more immediate tool  to provide                                                               
incentive for compliance without "taking the misdemeanor route."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:48:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL mentioned  that a penalty for  a violation on                                                               
a construction  site can  be a misdemeanor  charge; it  is rarely                                                               
charged because it constitutes such  a heavy penalty; legislation                                                               
was introduced to change the penalty  to a fine so that offenders                                                               
will  be  cited  more  frequently.   He  suggested  the  proposed                                                               
legislation posed a  similar scenario.  He  asked whether someone                                                               
could be  served with  a $5,000 fine,  if an  inspection revealed                                                               
ten violations with a $500 fine for each.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER replied  that the $500 would be the  maximum that could                                                               
be charged  for a violation.   He stated that DFLS  is conducting                                                               
research  to   establish  an   appropriate  fine   for  different                                                               
offenses.  He  maintained that offenses are of  varying levels of                                                               
seriousness; DFLS  does not want the  fines to be too  onerous on                                                               
businesses;  DFLS  wants  businesses  to  be  able  to  make  the                                                               
repairs;  and it  wants  to  incentivize them  to  do the  repair                                                               
before the inspection.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  offered  the  following  scenario:    as  a                                                               
business  owner   he  pays  for   and  receives   an  inspection;                                                               
violations are noted.   He asked whether fines  would be assessed                                                               
at  the time  of the  inspection or  if there  would be  a period                                                               
allowing  for a  remedy to  be applied  and a  second inspection,                                                               
before  fines are  assessed.   He summarized  by asking,  "Do you                                                               
have to pay for someone to come out and give you fines?"                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER  responded that the two  issues are separate.   The fee                                                               
for the inspection  is billed separately and  DFLS deputies would                                                               
not be  doing that.  He  said that for the  egregious violations,                                                               
DFLS deputies will  write citations; the goal is  compliance.  He                                                               
offered that  if upon inspection,  a building has  30 violations,                                                               
it is not the intent of DFLS  to drive the owner out of business.                                                               
It would focus  on the immediate life and safety  issues and work                                                               
backwards to the ones that are  less serious.  He maintained that                                                               
it is the goal  of DFLS to work with people, not  put them out of                                                               
business.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:52:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL mentioned  that he  has a  building that  is                                                               
inspected.    He  suggested  that   the  inspectors  give  him  a                                                               
summation of  what needs to  be remedied;  they give him  time to                                                               
comply;  he  notifies   them  that  he  has   complied;  and  the                                                               
inspectors   check  for   those   remedies   during  their   next                                                               
inspection.  He  maintained that this scenario is a  great way to                                                               
get  people to  comply.   He  offered that  his  concern is  that                                                               
people  not  get penalized  for  participating  in an  inspection                                                               
process and that this  isn't just a way for the  state to make up                                                               
for funding  shortages.  He  agreed that compliance is  the goal.                                                               
He  asked whether  there is  a problem  getting people  to comply                                                               
with the fire and safety requirements.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER responded,  "That's absolutely correct."   He said that                                                               
in many instances  DFLS deputies are called  "paper tigers"; they                                                               
have  no   real  "bite,"  unless   they  charge   offenders  with                                                               
misdemeanors.   He said that  under HB 71,  DFLS plans to  send a                                                               
letter to  the business two  months in advance of  the inspection                                                               
and  list the  violations that  it typically  finds.   This would                                                               
give  the business  owner time  to  fix the  problems before  the                                                               
inspection  and a  time schedule  for inspection.   He  mentioned                                                               
that DFLS  would focus  on the more  serious violations,  such as                                                               
fire  extinguishers not  in place,  sprinklers and  alarm systems                                                               
not compliant, egress blockage, and emergency lighting.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL   asked  whether   a  first   inspection  is                                                               
accompanied by  fines or if  someone would  be given a  chance to                                                               
fix a problem before he/she gets a fine.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER answered  that a pre-inspection form will  be sent out;                                                               
it is  the goal of  DFLS to work with  people and not  just visit                                                               
the  premises and  fine the  owners.   If there  is an  egregious                                                               
violation,  DFLS   will  resort   to  [fines]   immediately,  but                                                               
collecting fines  is not  the goal  of DFLS.   He added  that re-                                                               
visiting a place may be difficult because of the cost of travel.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS  asked   for   the  number   of  Class   B                                                               
misdemeanors  levied per  year for  failure to  comply under  the                                                               
current law.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TYLER answered  that information  back to  2007, with  three                                                               
years missing, indicates there have been none.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  referred  to   page  1,  lines  13-14,  of                                                               
Amendment 1,  which states  that each day  that the  violation or                                                               
noncompliance  continues,  is  a  separate  offense.    He  asked                                                               
whether   that  means   that   for  each   day   that  there   is                                                               
noncompliance,  the building  owner  is subject  to another  $500                                                               
fine; therefore, the fines would add up accumulatively.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TYLER conceded  that it  was a  stiff penalty;  he suggested                                                               
that  DFLS  would not  consider  it  another violation  unless  a                                                               
future inspection determined that nothing had been remedied.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:58:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked why  no distinction  is made  in the                                                               
amendment or  in the statute  between someone just notified  of a                                                               
violation and  someone who fails to  comply to an order  to fix a                                                               
problem.    She opined  that  the  latter  person would  be  more                                                               
culpable that the former.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER answered that he  understands her reasoning but doesn't                                                               
know how to draft the language for a "compounding" fine.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  suggested   that  Legislative  Legal  and                                                               
Research Services could help draft  such language.  She asked Mr.                                                               
Tyler for his reaction to the concept.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER  replied, "I  have no  problem with that  at all."   He                                                               
said  there are  many instances  in which  people are  aware that                                                               
there are no consequences of a  DFLS visit.  He maintained that a                                                               
harsher  fine for  someone who  ignores  DFLS and  is not  taking                                                               
safety seriously would send a better message.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS announced  that Amendment  1 would  be held                                                               
over for more  work with the assistance of  Legislative Legal and                                                               
Research Services.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:01:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX suggested  the  possibility  of a  serious                                                               
injury or death.   She referred to proposed  legislation [HB 259]                                                               
heard  in  the  House  Judiciary Standing  Committee  meeting  of                                                               
3/5/18, in which load vehicle  load limits were discussed; people                                                               
had  been seriously  hurt or  maimed; and  under Alaska  statute,                                                               
surpassing  load  limits  only  constituted  a  violation.    She                                                               
offered  that if  a violation  resulted in  injury or  death, the                                                               
penalty should be substantial.   She requested that the amendment                                                               
be rewritten  to address a violation  which results in a  fire in                                                               
which someone is hurt or killed, or property is damaged.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS concurred and  added that [HB 259] addressed                                                               
unsecured loads, not load limits.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  stated that  fire and  safety inspections                                                               
should  be available  to people  with  commercial properties  who                                                               
want to  be law abiding  citizens.   She expressed that  fire and                                                               
life safety  is an  essential public service  and the  reason for                                                               
having  "government."    She  mentioned  discussion  of  proposed                                                               
legislation [HB  322, House Resources Standing  Committee meeting                                                               
hearing on  2/9/18] about  waiving the  cost of  receiving advice                                                               
from the  Department of Environmental  Conservation (DEC)  on the                                                               
management of  spills; those with  commercial buildings  who seek                                                               
advice to  ensure safety compliance  may be discouraged  by being                                                               
charged fees  for an assessment.   She stated that she  has never                                                               
thought of  a fire marshal as  being a paper tiger;  he/she shows                                                               
up with a  badge and carries all the weight  and enforcement of a                                                               
law officer.  She concluded  by saying that endangering lives may                                                               
be worth  more than $500  per day or  warrant legal action.   She                                                               
urged reevaluation of Amendment 1.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:05:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL stated  that  he never  considered the  fire                                                               
marshal to  be a paper tiger;  when the marshal instructs  him to                                                               
do something, he  does it.  He added that  some owners have large                                                               
buildings; they  don't know what  the fire marshal will  check or                                                               
how extensive the  inspection will be.  He maintained  that he is                                                               
amenable  to having  the inspection,  and  under HB  400, may  be                                                               
paying for  the inspection.  He  stated that he would  like to be                                                               
given a  list of violations,  a chance  to fix the  problems, and                                                               
possibly  pay for  a follow  up inspection.   He  maintained that                                                               
$500  per day  per violation  could  become very  expensive.   He                                                               
suggested  that  if  DFLS  is  hesitant  to  issue  misdemeanors,                                                               
perhaps it should shut the business down.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:06:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced HB 400 would be held over.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT(S)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The  following  amendment  to  HB 400  was  either  discussed  or                                                               
adopted during  the hearing. [Shorter amendments  are provided in                                                               
the main text only.]                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
AMENDMENT 1 [30-LS1490\A.1, Bannister, 3/7/18]:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2, following "services;":                                                                                   
          Insert "and relating to penalties for violating                                                                     
     fire protection and safety requirements and orders"                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     Page 1, following line 9:                                                                                                  
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
        "* Sec. 2. AS 18.70.100(a) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (a)  A [EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN (c) OF THIS                                                                         
     SECTION,  A]   person  who  violates  a   provision  of                                                                    
     AS 18.70.010 - 18.70.100 or  a regulation adopted under                                                                    
     those sections,  or who fails  to comply with  an order                                                                    
     issued under  AS 18.70.010 - 18.70.100, is  guilty of a                                                                    
     violation  and   shall  be  punished  as   provided  in                                                                
     AS 12.55  by a  fine of  not more  than $500.  Each day                                                                
     [CLASS  B MISDEMEANOR.  WHEN  NOT OTHERWISE  SPECIFIED,                                                                    
     EACH  10  DAYS]  that the  violation  or  noncompliance                                                                    
     continues is a separate offense.                                                                                           
        *  Sec. 3.  AS 18.70.100  is amended  by adding  new                                                                  
     subsections to read:                                                                                                       
          (d)  A peace officer or an employee of the                                                                            
     department  who is  authorized by  the commissioner  of                                                                    
     public  safety  to enforce  this  chapter  may issue  a                                                                    
     citation   to  a   person  who   commits  a   violation                                                                    
     identified under this section.                                                                                             
          (e)  A citation issued under this section must                                                                        
     comply with the standards  adopted under AS 12.25.175 -                                                                    
     12.25.230.  A  person  receiving the  citation  is  not                                                                    
     required to sign a promise to appear in court.                                                                             
          (f)  The time specified in the notice to appear                                                                       
     on  a citation  issued under  this section  must be  at                                                                    
     least  five  working days  after  the  issuance of  the                                                                    
     citation.                                                                                                                  
          (g)  The commissioner of public safety is                                                                             
     responsible  for  the   issuance  of  books  containing                                                                    
     appropriate citations  and shall  maintain a  record of                                                                    
     each book and each citation  contained in the book. The                                                                    
     commissioner of public safety  shall require and retain                                                                    
     a receipt  for each book  issued to an employee  of the                                                                    
     department  designated by  the  commissioner of  public                                                                    
     safety  to provide  investigative  services to  enforce                                                                    
     provisions of this chapter.                                                                                                
          (h)  On or before the 10th working day after                                                                          
     issuance of a citation, a  peace officer or an employee                                                                    
     issuing  a citation  under this  section shall  deposit                                                                    
     the original  or a  copy of the  citation with  a court                                                                    
     having jurisdiction over the  alleged offense. Upon the                                                                    
     deposit of  the citation  with the court,  the citation                                                                    
     may be disposed of only by  trial in the court or other                                                                    
     official  action taken  by  the  magistrate, judge,  or                                                                    
     prosecutor. The  peace officer  or employee  who issued                                                                    
     the citation may not dispose  of the original or copies                                                                    
     of the  citation or  of the record  of the  issuance of                                                                    
     the citation  except as required under  this subsection                                                                    
     and (i) of this section.                                                                                                   
          (i)  The commissioner of public safety shall                                                                          
     require the  return of a  copy of each  citation issued                                                                    
     under this section  and of the copies  of each citation                                                                    
     that has  been spoiled  or on which  an entry  has been                                                                    
     made  and  not  issued  to  an  alleged  violator.  The                                                                    
     commissioner of  public safety  shall also  maintain in                                                                    
     connection with  each citation issued  a record  of the                                                                    
     disposition of  the charge  by the  court in  which the                                                                    
     original or copy of the citation was deposited.                                                                            
          (j)    A citation  issued  under  this section  is                                                                    
     considered to be a lawful  complaint for the purpose of                                                                    
     prosecution.                                                                                                               
          (k)    Unless  the  citation has  been  voided  or                                                                    
     otherwise  dismissed  by   the  magistrate,  judge,  or                                                                    
     prosecutor,  or  bail  has been  forfeited  under  this                                                                    
     section,  a person  who  fails to  appear  in court  to                                                                    
     answer   a   citation   issued  under   this   section,                                                                    
     regardless of  the disposition of the  charge for which                                                                    
     the citation was  issued, is guilty of  failure to obey                                                                    
     a citation under AS 12.25.230(b).                                                                                          
          (l)  The supreme  court shall establish a schedule                                                                    
     of  bail amounts.  The maximum  bail forfeiture  amount                                                                    
     for  a  violation  may  not  exceed  the  maximum  fine                                                                    
     specified   under  (a)   of  this   section  for   that                                                                    
     violation. The issuing peace  officer or employee shall                                                                    
     write  on the  citation the  amount of  bail forfeiture                                                                    
     applicable to the violation.                                                                                               
          (m)  If  a person cited for a  violation for which                                                                    
     a  bail forfeiture  amount has  been established  under                                                                    
     (l) of this section does  not contest the citation, the                                                                    
     person  may,  within 30  days  after  the date  of  the                                                                    
     citation, mail  or personally deliver  to the  clerk of                                                                    
     the court in  which the citation is filed  by the peace                                                                    
     officer or employee                                                                                                        
               (1)  the amount of bail indicated on the                                                                         
     citation for that offense; and                                                                                             
               (2)  a copy of the citation indicating that                                                                      
     the  right to  an appearance  is waived,  a plea  of no                                                                    
     contest is entered, and the bail is forfeited.                                                                             
          (n)   When  the  cited person  has forfeited  bail                                                                    
     under  (m) of  this section,  the court  shall enter  a                                                                    
     judgment  of  conviction.  Forfeiture   of  bail  is  a                                                                    
     complete satisfaction  for the violation. The  clerk of                                                                    
     the court  accepting the bail forfeiture  shall provide                                                                    
     the  offender  with  a receipt  stating  that  fact  if                                                                    
     requested.                                                                                                                 
          (o)  A  person cited under this  section is guilty                                                                    
     of failure to obey  a citation under AS 12.25.230(b) if                                                                    
     the  person fails  to pay  the bail  amount established                                                                    
     under (l) of  this section or fails to  appear in court                                                                    
     as required.                                                                                                               
          (p)   Notwithstanding other provisions of  law, if                                                                    
     a  person  cited  for  a violation  for  which  a  bail                                                                    
     forfeiture  amount has  been established  under (l)  of                                                                    
     this section appears in court  and is found guilty, the                                                                    
     court  may  not  impose  a  penalty  that  exceeds  the                                                                    
     forfeiture amount for that violation established under                                                                     
     (l) of this section.                                                                                                       
          (q)  In this section, "department" means the                                                                          
     Department of Public Safety."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 13:                                                                                                 
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec. 5. AS 18.70.100(c) is repealed."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[End of Amendment 1 - HB 400 was held over.]                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          HJR 38-AK RAILROAD TRANSFER ACT; CONVEYANCES                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
4:07:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  JOINT  RESOLUTION NO.  38,  Relating to  certain                                                               
conveyances to  the Alaska Railroad Corporation  under the Alaska                                                               
Railroad Transfer Act of 1982.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:07:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHUCK KOPP,  Alaska State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor  of   HJR  38,  relayed  that   the  proposed  resolution                                                               
represents a "singular voice" of  the legislature to comment on a                                                               
matter of  such an  important public  policy as  property rights.                                                               
He referred to  the testimony of the  Alaska Railroad Corporation                                                               
(ARRC)  [Andy Behrend,  Chief Counsel,  ARRC]  during the  3/1/18                                                               
House  State Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting, which  stated                                                               
that there was  no connection between the Alaska  Railroad Act of                                                               
1914 ("1914  Act") and the  General Railroad Right-of-Way  Act of                                                               
1875  ("1875 Act").    He said,  "That's  a profoundly  important                                                               
statement, because it is profoundly wrong."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  referred to the  1982 decision of  the [U.S.                                                               
Department  of  Interior's  (USDOI's)]  Interior  Board  of  Land                                                               
Appeals (IBLA),  included in the committee  packet [IBLA 81-426].                                                               
The Alaska Railroad (ARR) appealed  a selection of state lands on                                                               
the ARR right-of-way (ROW) asserting  that this property had been                                                               
appropriated, reserved, or  otherwise set aside based  on what it                                                               
had claimed  was a fee  simple interest ownership;  therefore, it                                                               
was not  available for  state appropriation.   The  IBLA decision                                                               
reported the following:  the  page labeled 65 IBLA 376 summarizes                                                               
ARR's claim that the property was  set aside; the page labeled 65                                                               
IBLA 377 mentions  the Alaska Statehood Act of  1958 allowing for                                                               
the selections  of these lands  along the Fairbanks  meridian and                                                               
comments  that the  initial [USDOI]  Bureau of  Land Management's                                                               
(BLM's)  decision  stated  that  the  lands  were  available  for                                                               
appropriation by  the state; they  were entirely  appropriate for                                                               
the ROW;  and they could  be acquired  as state property;  and it                                                               
also states that this determination was made under the 1914 Act.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  quoted from  the pages  labeled 65  IBLA 377                                                               
and 65  IBLA 378 of  the IBLA  decision, beginning with  the last                                                               
sentence on the first of the two pages, which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The issue  raised by  this appeal  is whether  the land                                                                    
     within the right-of-way granted  to the Alaska Railroad                                                                    
     is occupied, appropriated, and/or  reserved so as to be                                                                    
     exempt  from  State   selection.  Neither  counsel  for                                                                    
     appellant  nor counsel  for the  State  of Alaska  have                                                                    
     cited any cases on point and  this appears to be a case                                                                    
     of first impression.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  said that IBLA  then addressed the  issue by                                                               
citing cases;  he referred  to the first  paragraph under  [1] on                                                               
the page labeled 65 IBLA 378, which read in part:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          [1] Consideration  of the nature of  the right-of-                                                                    
     way granted by similar  statutes provides guidance. The                                                                    
     General Railroad  Right of  Way Act  of March  3, 1875,                                                                    
     ch. 152,  18 Stat.  482 (1875),  2/ granting  a similar                                                                    
     right-of-way  for  railroad  across  the  public  lands                                                                    
     outside  Alaska  has  been   held  to  convey  only  an                                                                    
     easement and not a fee interest in the land.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP stated that IBLA  also cited the U.S. Supreme                                                               
Court  case of  1942, Great  Northern Railroad  Co. v.  U.S.   He                                                           
continued  quoting the  first  paragraph of  [1],  which read  in                                                               
part:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The Court  held that the  reserved right to  dispose of                                                                    
     the lands  subject to the right-of-way  is inconsistent                                                                    
     with the grant  of a fee and persuasive  that the grant                                                                    
     of an easement was the intent of the statute.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  relayed  that   in  this  case,  the  court                                                               
concluded  that even  under a  more  restrictive standard,  which                                                               
existed before the  1875 Act, it was the intent  of Congress that                                                               
the state - in this case the  State of Wyoming - would be allowed                                                               
to take  the subsections in its  statehood appropriations subject                                                               
to the ROW.   He added that under the ROW Acts  of 1862 and 1864,                                                               
there  were limited  fee  interests and  railroads  did own  some                                                               
land.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP quoted from the  third paragraph under [1] of                                                               
the IBLA decision, on the page labeled 65 IBLA 379, which read:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     These cases  decided under other  railroad right-of-way                                                                    
     statutes  persuade  us  that   the  lands  embraced  in                                                                    
     appellant's  right-of-way should  not be  considered to                                                                    
     be  appropriated  or  reserved  at the  time  of  State                                                                    
     selection so as to  be excluded therefrom. The decision                                                                    
     correctly held  that a right-of-way for  railroad shall                                                                    
     be reserved in any State selection patent issued.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP explained that  IBLA directly referred to the                                                               
1875 Act,  under which  Congress ended  land grant  railroads and                                                               
allowed  only   surface  easements   for  rail,   telegraph,  and                                                               
telephone.  He  asserted, "That was the easement ...  of the 1914                                                               
Alaska Railroad Act."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:12:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP relayed that HJR  38 would not have an impact                                                               
on federal  property already in  a federal interest; but  only on                                                               
property upon  which there  was an  unlawful infringement  in the                                                               
transfer.    He  stated  that the  federal  government  owned  an                                                               
exclusive-use  easement  in  Denali National  Park  and  Preserve                                                               
(DNPP)  and  an  exclusive-use  easement on  Native  lands  under                                                               
contested  land   claims.    He   emphasized  that   the  federal                                                               
government  never owned  an exclusive-use  easement on  Homestead                                                               
Act [1862] ("homestead") patent properties.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP said  that the ARRC's position  is that there                                                               
is settled law in the matter:   railroads have either full simple                                                               
title or an exclusive-use easement.   He emphasized that there is                                                               
no settled  law in that  regard; 80  percent of railroads  in the                                                               
U.S. have a  simple easement only, a claim supported  by the U.S.                                                               
Supreme Court three  years ago in Brandt Revocable  Trust v. U.S.                                                             
The court  ruled that a railroad  ROW granted under the  1875 Act                                                               
is an easement; therefore, if  a railroad abandons such easement,                                                               
the landowner  regains his/her  unburdened use of  the land.   He                                                               
stated that it is difficult  to understand why a limited interest                                                               
surface  easement, which  ARR  has, is  insufficient  for ARR  to                                                               
safely operate, like most other railroads in the country.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP stated  that whatever  property the  federal                                                               
government lawfully  owned at  the time of  the transfer  [to the                                                               
state in 1982] would not be affected  by HJR 38.  He relayed that                                                               
HJR 38  would only apply to  right titles and interests  owned by                                                               
other parties;  it is  focused on the  homestead patentees  and a                                                               
claim of ARRC to  own more than it owns.  He  offered that he has                                                               
requested from  ARRC a list  of conflicting land claims  that the                                                               
secretary  of  USDOI has  adjudicated  to  demonstrate that  ARRC                                                               
followed due process when  taking exclusive-use easement interest                                                               
on  all homestead  patent properties;  ARRC  maintained it  would                                                               
respond.  He added that he  has no indication of conflicting land                                                               
claims  other than  those in  DNPP  and those  for which  village                                                               
corporations  and  other Native  claimants  were  competing.   He                                                               
expressed his  belief that the  secretary of USDOI has  made some                                                               
determinations on those lands.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  asserted that  homestead patents  were never                                                               
subject  to competing  claims; they  were entirely  owned by  the                                                               
homesteaders;  the  federal  government had  completely  divested                                                               
itself  of ownership  in those  lands.   He relayed  that HJR  38                                                               
would make it clear that if an  entity says it has title to land,                                                               
then it should  prove that title; any lawyer would  tell a client                                                               
to  clear his/her  title  unless  the title  is  not  clear.   He                                                               
maintained that every lawyer he  has consulted in this matter has                                                               
informed him that  the extent of the ROW must  be determined on a                                                               
case-by-case,  parcel-by-parcel basis;  and  the title  recording                                                               
system can provide with certainty  the history of the interest of                                                               
any parcel.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:15:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP concluded  that ARRC  has made  a "sweeping"                                                               
claim  to  an  exclusive-use  easement  without  doing  the  work                                                               
necessary  to  justify  that  the  federal  government  had  that                                                               
interest  to give  to the  state  at the  time of  transfer.   He                                                               
referred to Section 1202(10) of  the Alaska Railroad Transfer Act                                                               
(ARTA)  of  1982 [45  USC  Ch.  21],  included in  the  committee                                                               
packet, which states  that the definition for  rail properties of                                                               
ARR includes the exclusive-use easement  within DNPP.  He offered                                                               
that  there  would be  no  reason  to specifically  mention  this                                                               
exclusive-use easement  if it  was de facto  for the  entire ROW.                                                               
He  added  that  exclusive-use   easement  on  federal  lands  is                                                               
specified  three times  [in ARTA].    He maintained  that it  was                                                               
clearly  never the  intent  of  Congress to  impose  that on  the                                                               
homestead patent properties.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP referred to  testimony by Bill O'Leary, Chief                                                               
Executive  Officer (CEO),  ARRC, during  the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee meeting of 3/1/18,  who quoted Alaska's former                                                               
U.S. Senator  Ted Stevens as  saying that the interest  along the                                                               
ROW  would be  an  exclusive-use easement.   Representative  Kopp                                                               
said  that the  quote was  out of  context; Senator  Stevens said                                                               
that the interest on federal lands  - lands for which the federal                                                               
government had the  interest to give - would  be an exclusive-use                                                               
easement.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  maintained that  a disagreement  exists, and                                                               
ARRC recommends resolving it in  court.  He offered that "justice                                                               
is not free."  The ARRC  has asserted that the federal government                                                               
is bound  to defend claims  against the  ROW; however, it  is not                                                               
clear if that would involve all  claims.  He expressed that it is                                                               
upsetting to hear testimony that  the legislature does not have a                                                               
legitimate role in addressing matters  of such serious importance                                                               
to the state and that affect  so many land owners; any individual                                                               
land owner  would be financially  destitute upon pursuing  such a                                                               
case [in court].                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  maintained that  the legislature has  a duty                                                               
and responsibility  to disclaim any unlawfully  acquired property                                                               
that was  transferred; the legislature  would not  be identifying                                                               
that  land, but  merely asking  for proof  of ownership  for land                                                               
claimed.   He stated,  "We're not  going to aid  and abet  in any                                                               
unlawful  taking of  property.   It's  the  most important  thing                                                               
Alaskans  have."   He said  that  under HJR  38, the  legislature                                                               
would be  asking ARRC  to prove that  the federal  government had                                                               
the exclusive-use easement  at the time of the  land transfer, if                                                               
ARRC is making a claim of property ownership based on that.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:19:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  stated  that   he  supports  the  proposed                                                               
resolution  and maintained  that the  issue has  been "unfinished                                                               
business" for  many years.  He  mentioned that there has  been an                                                               
attempt  on the  municipal level  to resolve  the issue,  and the                                                               
legislature  is  the  appropriate  body to  put  forward  such  a                                                               
resolution.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:19:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved to report  HJR 38 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  zero  fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, HJR  38 was reported  from the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          HB 310-MARRIAGE AND MINIMUM AGE FOR MARRIAGE                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
4:20:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that the final order of business                                                                 
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 310, "An Act relating to the minimum age                                                                
of eligibility for marriage."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:20:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:20 p.m. to 4:22 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:22:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 310 would be held over.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:23:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 4:23                                                                  
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR 10 Sponsor Statement 02.22.2018.pdf HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
SCR 10
SCR 10 Ver U 02.22.2018.pdf HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
SCR 10
SCR 10 Summary of Changes ver D-U 02.22.2018.pdf HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
SCR 10
SCR 10 Fiscal Note LAA 02.22.2018.pdf HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
SCR 10
SCR 10 Supporting Document - Letters of Support 02.22.2018.pdf HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
SCR 10
HB 71 Sectional Analysis 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 71
HB71 ver O 3.2.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 71
HB 71 Explanation of Changes 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 71
HB400 Sponsor Statement 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Sectional Analysis 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 ver A 2.28.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Fiscal Note DPS 3.1.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Amendment 1 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HJR38 Sponsor Statement 2.26.2018.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR038 ver A 2.22.18.PDF HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Fiscal Note LEG 2.26.18.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Index of Support Documents 2.26.2018.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Supporting Document- Letters of Support 2.26.18.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Index of Reference Documents 2.26.2018b.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Additional Documents- Reference 2.26.18.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Supporting Document- Powerpoint Presentation 2.27.2018.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter from Dick Welsh 2.27.2018.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter from Ocean View Community Council 2.27.2018.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter from Beth Fread 2.27.2018.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter Anchorage Board of Realtors 2.28.2018.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter from Ocean View Community Council 2.28.2018.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Document Written Testimony from Bob Gastrock 2.28.2018.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter from Alaska Association of Realtors 2.28.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter from Dimond Shopping Center 2.28.2018.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Supporting Document- Public Letters of Support 2.28.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Document Written Testimony from John Pletcher 2.28.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Supporting Document Testifier Resume 3.1.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Supporting Documnet- Letter Robert Gastrock 3.1.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Supporting Document- Pictures from John Pletcher 3.1.2018.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR 38 Supporting Letter from Bonne' Woldstad 3.1.2018.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Support Letter from James Armstrong 3.1.2018.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR 38 Supporting Document- Jack Brown Wirtten Testimony 3.1.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR 38 Supporting Letter from Roy Longacre 3.5.2018.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Opposing Document- Alaska Railroad Letter of Opposition 2.27.18.pdf HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HJR38 Opposition Letter- Teamseters Local 959 3.9.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 38
HB310 Sponsor Statement 2.6.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 ver A 2.6.18.PDF HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Fiscal Note DHSS 2.16.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Supporting Document-Child Marriage in America Executive Summary 2.19.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Supporting Document-Child Marriage in America 2.6.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Supporting Document-Minors Married in Alaska 2.6.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Supporting Document-Tahirih Child Marriage Backgrounder 2.6.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Supporting Document- Letter from Office of Victim's Rights 2.20.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Supporting Document- Letters of Support 2.22.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310
HB310 Supporting Document-ACT Support Letter 2.27.18.pdf HSTA 2/22/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 310