Legislature(1993 - 1994)

05/08/1994 09:50 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                             MINUTES                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                           MAY 8, 1994                                         
                            9:50 p.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPES                                                                        
                                                                               
  SFC-94, #91, Side 2 (550-000)                                                
  SFC-94, #93, Side 1 (000-550)                                                
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Drue  Pearce, Co-chair,  reconvened  the meeting  at                 
  approximately 9:50 p.m.                                                      
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  In addition to  Co-chairs Pearce and Frank,  Senators Kelly,                 
  Sharp, and Rieger were present.  Senators Kerttula and Jacko                 
  were absent from the meeting.                                                
                                                                               
  ALSO ATTENDING:  Senator Fred  Zharoff; Gerald L. Gallagher,                 
  Director,  Division   of  Mining,   Department  of   Natural                 
  Resources;  Raga Elim,  Legislative Liaison,  Office of  the                 
  Governor; Philip  Volland, attorney,  Anchorage; Tom  Waldo,                 
  attorney; Harry A. Noah, Commissioner, Department of Natural                 
  Resources;  Tom Koester,  attorney; David  Walker, attorney;                 
  Mike   Greany,   Director,  Legislative   Finance  Division;                 
  representative of the media, and  aides to committee members                 
  and other members of the legislature.                                        
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
  SB 191:             An  Act  relating to  municipal property                 
                      tax  limitations;  and providing  for an                 
                      effective date.                                          
                                                                               
                      Scheduled but not heard.                                 
                                                                               
  CSHB 201(FIN) am:   An  Act relating  to  the mental  health                 
                      land  trust and  the mental  health land                 
                      trust   litigation,   Weiss   v.  State,                 
                      4FA-82-2208  Civil,  and   amending  and                 
                      repealing other laws relating  to mental                 
                      health   institutions,   programs,   and                 
                      services that  are affected  by ch.  66,                 
                      SLA 1991; and providing for an effective                 
                      date.                                                    
                                                                               
                      SCSCSHB   201(FIN)   "Z"   version   was                 
                      ADOPTED.    Philip   Volland,  attorney,                 
                      Anchorage;  Tom  Waldo,  attorney; David                 
                      Walker,  attorney;   and  Tom   Koester,                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
                      attorney; spoke  to the  bill.   SCSCSHB
                      201(FIN) was REPORTED  out of  committee                 
                      with a  "do pass," and fiscal  notes for                 
                      the following departments: Law - $200.0,                 
                      DH&SS (302)  -  $150.0,  DH&SS  (951)  -                 
                      $5.2,  Administration  -  $45.9, Natural                 
                      Resources - $728.9.                                      
                                                                               
  CSHB 371(FIN) am:   An   Act   making    appropriations   to                 
                      capitalize the mental health  trust fund                 
                      from  the balance  of the  mental health                 
                      trust income account  on June 30,  1995,                 
                      mental  health  trust   income  of   the                 
                      Department of Natural  Resources in  the                 
                      general  fund,   and  earnings   reserve                 
                      account; making an appropriation  to the                 
                      mental health trust income  account from                 
                      the  net  income  earned  by the  mental                 
                      health trust fund; and providing for  an                 
                      effective date.                                          
                                                                               
                      SCSCSHB   371(FIN)   version   "U"   was                 
                      ADOPTED.  SCSCSHB 371(FIN)  was REPORTED                 
                      out of committee with a  "do pass."  The                 
                      committee returned to the  meeting after                 
                      adjourning to ADOPT  amendment 1  adding                 
                      language mistakenly omitted  and already                 
                      contained in SCSCSHB 201(FIN).   SCSCSHB
                      371(FIN) as amended  was REPORTED out of                 
                      committee with a "do pass."                              
                                                                               
  CSHB 447(FIN):      An Act establishing  the Afognak  Island                 
                      State Park.                                              
                                                                               
                      Senator  Fred   Zharoff,  testified   in                 
                      support of HB 447  and proposed a Letter                 
                      of  Intent.   The  Letter of  Intent was                 
                      ADOPTED.  Gerald L. Gallagher, Director,                 
                      Division   of   Mining,   Department  of                 
                      Natural   Resources,   and   Raga  Elim,                 
                      Legislative  Liaison,   Office  of   the                 
                      Governor   also   spoke  to   the  bill.                 
                      Senator  Rieger  proposed  amendment  1.                 
                      Amendment  1  was   ADOPTED.     SCSCSHB
                      447(FIN) was REPORTED  out of  committee                 
                      with individual recommendations and zero                 
                      fiscal  notes  for  the  Departments  of                 
                      Public   Safety,   Law,    and   Natural                 
                      Resources.                                               
                                                                               
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 447(FIN):                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       An Act establishing the Afognak Island State Park.                      
                                                                               
  CO-CHAIR DRUE PEARCE announced that CSHB 447(FIN) was before                 
  the committee.   She  invited  Senator Zharoff  to join  the                 
  members at the table to speak to his Letter of Intent.                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR KELLY said that on  page 6, line 29, the word  "not"                 
  had been  left out.   Discussion followed by  Co-chair Frank                 
  and Pearce, Senator  Rieger, Kelly  and Sharp regarding  the                 
  wording of this section in the original bill and its effect.                 
  Senator  Rieger  moved for  adoption  of amendment  1 adding                 
  "not" on page 6, line 29.                                                    
                                                                               
  GERALD   L.  GALLAGHER,   Director,   Division  of   Mining,                 
  Department of  Natural Resources, and RAGA ELIM, Legislative                 
  Liaison, Office of the Governor,  offered information on how                 
  the Department of Natural Resources could acquire land.  Mr.                 
  Elim explained that  the wording in the House  version meant                 
  there would have to be a willing buyer and a willing seller.                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR RIEGER proposed  amendment 2  adding the word  "not"                 
  and removing the  word "except" on page 6, lines  29 and 30.                 
  Amendment 2 was ADOPTED                                                      
                                                                               
  End SFC-93 #91, Side 2                                                       
  Begin SFC-93 #93, Side 1                                                     
                                                                               
  In answer to  Senator Sharp, Mr. Gallagher said that funding                 
  had been requested from the Exxon Valdez Trustees Council to                 
  operate  the state park.   Co-chair  Pearce agreed  that the                 
  Council had  indicated their  willingness to  run the  park.                 
  Senator Zharoff also said that this park dovetailed with the                 
  Kodiak State Park system, so Afognak Island State Park could                 
  be managed with Chugiak  State Park.  He went on  to explain                 
  his Letter of Intent which addressed these concerns.                         
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger  MOVED for  the  adoption of  the  Letter of                 
  Intent.  Hearing no objection, it was ADOPTED.                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR SHARP voiced his objection to the bill.   He said he                 
  was surrounded by parks and did not need them.                               
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger MOVED  for passage of  SCSCSHB 447(FIN).   It                 
  FAILED on a  vote of 3 to 2 (Senators Jacko, Kelly and Sharp                 
  were  opposed.  Co-chair  Pearce and Senator  Rieger were in                 
  favor.)                                                                      
                                                                               
  CO-CHAIR FRANK  rejoined  the  meeting  and  Senator  Rieger                 
  offered his motion  again for  passage of SCSCSHB  447(FIN).                 
  The motion  carried on a vote  of 4 to 2  (Co-chairs Pearce,                 
  Frank,  and  Senators  Rieger  and   Jacko  were  in  favor.                 
  Senators Kelly and Sharp were opposed.)  SCSCSHB 447(FIN) as                 
  amended  was  REPORTED  out  of  committee  with  individual                 
  recommendations (Co-chair  Pearce and Senator  Rieger signed                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  "do pass," Senator  Sharp signed "do not pass," and Co-chair                 
  Frank, Senators Kelly and Jacko signed "no recommendation"),                 
  and  three zero fiscal  notes for the  Departments of Public                 
  Safety, Law, and Natural Resources.                                          
                                                                               
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 201(FIN) am:                                           
                                                                               
       An Act relating to the mental health land trust and the                 
       mental health  land trust  litigation, Weiss  v. State,                 
       4FA-82-2208  Civil, and  amending  and repealing  other                 
       laws relating to  mental health institutions, programs,                 
       and services that are affected by ch. 66, SLA 1991; and                 
       providing for an effective date.                                        
                                                                               
  Co-chair Pearce announced that SCSCSHB 201(FIN)  version "Z"                 
  was before the committee.  Senator Kelly MOVED  for adoption                 
  of  SCSCSHB 201(FIN) version "Z".  No objection being heard,                 
  it was ADOPTED.                                                              
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger said the  first change  from the  last draft                 
  that the  committee saw was on  page 15 which said  that the                 
  administrative  expenses  of  the  new  Mental Health  Trust                 
  Authority were made  subject to  AS 37.07 (Executive  Budget                 
  Act)  meaning that  the  legislature would  appropriate that                 
  money.  The second change on page 19, lines 12-15, said that                 
  the seven members would be confirmed by the legislature.                     
                                                                               
  Senator Kelly, speaking to the second change, said that when                 
  the Authority was  first formed in  1991 it was an  advisory                 
  authority.  Now  it had become  the umbrella that would  run                 
  the Mental Health  Fund so it was  felt that it  should have                 
  more public scrutiny.                                                        
                                                                               
  PHILLIP  VOLLAND,   attorney,  from  Anchorage,   urged  the                 
  committee to move HB 201.  He said the legislation addressed                 
  a number of concerns that prevented this issue from becoming                 
  solved.  He felt it was measurable and fair - an exchange of                 
  land that took into account the various  interests that were                 
  effected by the  land exchange, both  from the resource  and                 
  environment  community.   It did  put resolution on  a short                 
  time frame but  he saw that  favorable since it would  force                 
  work toward joint settlement.                                                
                                                                               
  TOM  WALDO,   attorney  for  Public   Interest  Interveners,                 
  coalition for  five environmental groups,  two sport fishing                 
  organizations,  and  the  Susitna  Valley  Organization  for                 
  tourism and recreation, urged the committee to  pass HB 201.                 
  He said  his coalition  had  opposed chapter  66 and  worked                 
  toward a new settlement  that had broader support and  would                 
  better  serve  the   public  interest.    He   said  HB  201                 
  represented  that  work   and  felt  it  was   a  reasonable                 
  compromise.                                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  In answer to Senator Sharp, Mr.  Waldo said there was intent                 
  to create a million acre trust  to generate revenues for the                 
  mental  health  program.    That was  left  entirely  to the                 
  discretion of the legislature on how that management was  to                 
  be established.                                                              
                                                                               
  DAVID WALKER, attorney,  representing Vern Weiss and  others                 
  similarly situated, as well as the Mental Health Association                 
  (represented  by  Jim  Godstein  but  unable to  participate                 
  today), presented  the committee with resolution  #002-94 by                 
  the Mental Health Association (copy  of file, Attachment A).                 
  He  said  he had  been involved  in this  for years  and had                 
  concerns about HB  201.  He  also believed it contained  all                 
  the elements  needed for a  settlement, but may  not achieve                 
  it.  He felt there were some mean-spirited provisions in the                 
  bill.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Senator Kelly was of the opinion that the elements in HB 201                 
  agreed  with   Resolution  #002-94  by  the   Mental  Health                 
  Association  in  Alaska.     Mr.  Walker  pointed   out  the                 
  Association's concern was with the  management element in HB
  201.                                                                         
                                                                               
  In answer to Senator Sharp,  referring to the word "initial"                 
  on page 5, line  30, Commissioner Noah said  that additional                 
  revenue would go into the Fund from the lands.                               
                                                                               
  TOM KOESTER, attorney,  representing the State of  Alaska in                 
  the Weiss litigation, explained  that there were  provisions                 
  in Title 13 that relate to  trust administration.  Under the                 
  provisions  of  Title 13,  certain  revenues from  land, for                 
  example, the sale  of land, proceeds  of that sale, must  be                 
  preserved.   If the  land was  leased, the  income could  be                 
  spent  for  programs.    Those  rules  would  apply  to  the                 
  allocation  of revenues from mental health  trust lands.  He                 
  said it was standard trust administration.                                   
                                                                               
  In answer to  Co-chair Frank, Mr. Koester  agreed that would                 
  happen without appropriation.  In answer to another question                 
  by Co-chair Frank, Senator Kelly said that of September  15,                 
  a  full  report  of all  contracts  would  be  given to  the                 
  legislature.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Mr. Koester  said that  the recommendations  that the  Trust                 
  Authority gave  to  the legislature  as  to what  it  should                 
  appropriate, included a  report that  would make clear  what                 
  the  total  package  ought  to look  like.    Senator  Kelly                 
  concluded that the legislature would  just have to wait  and                 
  see how it would all work out.   Senator Sharp stated he did                 
  not like the word  "initial."  Senator Rieger said  the word                 
  "initial" occurs only in the findings and purpose section.                   
                                                                               
  Senator Kelly  MOVED for  passage of  SCSCSHB 201(FIN)  from                 
  committee  with  individual  recommendations.    Hearing  no                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  objection, the bill was REPORTED out of committee with a "do                 
  pass" (Co-chair  Frank,  Senators Rieger,  Jacko, and  Kelly                 
  signed  "do  pass," and  Co-chair  Pearce and  Senator Sharp                 
  signed  "no  recommendation"),  and  fiscal  notes  for  the                 
  Department  of Law  -  $200.0, the  Department  of Health  &                 
  Social  Services,  #302  -  $150.0  and  #951  -  $5.2,  the                 
  Department of Administration - $45.9,  and the Department of                 
  Natural Resources - $728.9.                                                  
                                                                               
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 371(FIN) am:                                           
                                                                               
       An Act making  appropriations to capitalize  the mental                 
       health trust fund from the balance of the mental health                 
       trust income account  on June  30, 1995, mental  health                 
       trust income of the Department  of Natural Resources in                 
       the general fund, and  earnings reserve account; making                 
       an  appropriation to  the  mental health  trust  income                 
       account from the net income earned by the mental health                 
       trust fund; and providing for an effective date.                        
                                                                               
  Co-chair Pearce announced  that a  copy of SCR  23 would  go                 
  with SCSCSHB 371(FIN).  This version required a title change                 
  because it  pulled money  from the  Budget Reserve  Account.                 
  There  was  an  indication by  the  minority  that it  would                 
  support  the  use  of  the   Constitutional  Reserve.    She                 
  announced that  SCSCSHB 371(FIN)  was  before the  committee                 
  which  changed funding sources.   The House version used the                 
  Earnings Reserve Fund from the Permanent Fund.                               
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger  MOVED  for  adoption  of  SCSCSHB  371(FIN)                 
  version "U".  Hearing no objection, it was ADOPTED.                          
                                                                               
  In answer to Senator Sharp, Commissioner  Noah said that the                 
  45 day extension on page 2, line 26, was  the only extension                 
  possible without the legislative process.                                    
                                                                               
  Senator Kelly  MOVED for  passage of  SCSCSHB 371(FIN)  from                 
  committee  with individuals  recommendations.   No objection                 
  having been  raised, SCSCSHB  371(FIN) was  REPORTED out  of                 
  committee with a "do pass."                                                  
                                                                               
                      Adjourned at 10:30pm                                     
                      Reconvened at 10:42pm                                    
                                                                               
  Co-chair Pearce  reconvened the meeting  and announced  that                 
  SCSCSHB 371(FIN) needed to come back before the committee.                   
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger MOVED that the committee rescind their action                 
  in reporting out SCSCSHB 371(FIN).  Hearing no objection, IT                 
  WAS SO ORDERED.                                                              
                                                                               
  Mr. Koester  said that in  House Finance,  two changes  were                 
  made  to  the  condition that  makes  the  incentives either                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  become  effective or  go away  relating to  the  December 15                 
  date.   One change was  to allow the Governor  to extend the                 
  December 15th  deadline by up to 45 days.   That was in both                 
  HB  201 and the HB 371.   The second change made was that no                 
  appeal be taken  on one  of the drop  dead conditions.   Mr.                 
  Koester proposed  amendment 1  that already  appeared in  HB
  201.   Amendment 1  said, if  an appeal  was taken,  but the                 
  Supreme  Court  resolved the  appeal  by December  15th, and                 
  dismissed and affirmed  the dismissal  of the lawsuit,  then                 
  the incentives would take effect.   Senator Rieger confirmed                 
  that the December 15th deadline  would hold regardless.  Mr.                 
  Koester agreed.                                                              
                                                                               
  Co-chair Frank MOVED for  adoption of amendment 1.   Hearing                 
  no objection,  amendment 1  was ADOPTED  to be  incorporated                 
  into the SCSCS HB 371(FIN).                                                  
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger  MOVED  for passage  of  SCSCS  HB 371(FIN).                 
  Hearing no objection, the bill, as amended, was REPORTED out                 
  of committee  with a  "do pass"  (Co-chair Pearce,  Senators                 
  Rieger, Jacko, and Sharp signed  "do pass."  Co-chair  Frank                 
  and Senator Kerttula signed "no recommendation").                            
                                                                               
  SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD:                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 191:                                                         
                                                                               
       An Act relating to municipal  property tax limitations;                 
       and providing for an effective date.                                    
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:45 p.m.                        

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