Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/15/1999 09:09 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
MINUTES                                                                                                                         
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                                        
March 15, 1999                                                                                                                  
9:09 AM                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TAPES                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SFC-99 # 55, Side A & Side B                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson convened the meeting at                                                                                 
approximately 9:09 AM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Torgerson, Senator Sean Parnell, Senator Randy                                                                     
Phillips, Senator Dave Donley, Senator Loren Leman, Senator                                                                     
Gary Wilken, Senator Al Adams, Senator Pete Kelly and                                                                           
Senator Lyda Green.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Also Attending: CAROL CARROLL, Director, Division of                                                                            
Administrative Services, Department of Military and                                                                             
Veterans Affairs; JACK FARGNOLI, Coordinator, Y2K Project                                                                       
Office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Attending via Teleconference: From Anchorage: DAVID                                                                             
LIEBERSBACH, Director, Division of Emergency Services,                                                                          
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; MARY GILSON,                                                                       
Assistant Attorney General, Governmental Affairs Section,                                                                       
Civil Division, Department of Law.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 101-DEFINITION OF DISASTER                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee heard testimony from the Division of                                                                              
Emergency Services and the Department of Law.  The bill was                                                                     
held in committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB  33-TASK FORCE ON PRIVATIZATION                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson handed out a draft committee                                                                            
substitute for member's review.  The bill was held in                                                                           
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 101                                                                                                             
"An Act amending the definition of 'disaster.'"                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
This was the first hearing for this bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips explained that his office went                                                                           
through the statutes dealing with disasters and came up                                                                         
with a proposed amendment to include economic disasters.                                                                        
He said he questioned what constituted a disaster and noted                                                                     
the inclusion of typhoons, tornadoes and hurricanes and                                                                         
wondered why they were listed in the bill.  He suggested                                                                        
deletion of those terms and inserting "severe storm".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson pointed out that Alaska has had                                                                         
typhoons.  One of which caused the last SouthCentral                                                                            
floods.  He knew that the Aleutian Islands received a great                                                                     
deal of wind but didn't know if that qualified as                                                                               
hurricanes.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE CAMPBELL, staff to Senator Randy Phillips explained                                                                       
the bill to the committee. SB 101 contained a couple                                                                            
adjustments in the definition of disaster. First was on                                                                         
line 5: shortage of food, water, fuel and clothing was                                                                          
added so that instead of being types of disaster as earlier                                                                     
listed on line 11, they could become caused by disasters.                                                                       
The second change involved the disasters as listed on line                                                                      
6 in addition to a natural or manmade caused disaster.                                                                          
That seemed to be all-inclusive, but if there were any                                                                          
question that something was neither manmade nor natural,                                                                        
such as supernatural, the removal of the language would                                                                         
include those.  There was no intent to require an event to                                                                      
be defined as either natural or manmade cause.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Al Adams referred to lines 8-12, the list of                                                                            
disasters and pointed out that some of the disasters would                                                                      
never happen in Alaska such as typhoon or a hurricane, and                                                                      
suggested focusing on more likely disasters like winter                                                                         
storms, ice storms, blizzards and droughts. Mr. Campbell                                                                        
didn't disagree.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Al Adams handed out list of disasters from other                                                                        
states that were qualified for receipt of federal funds and                                                                     
felt that Alaska should include some of these things. He                                                                        
specified some of the particular disasters noted in other                                                                       
states. He asked what would happen if statutes were adopted                                                                     
that were too restrictive, an event not covered on the list                                                                     
occurred, and the state wished to seek FEMA relief funds.                                                                       
He wanted the disaster list to allow the state to capture                                                                       
the maximum amount of needed federal funds.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Sean Parnell said he visited the same Internet site                                                                     
where Senator Al Adams's information was obtained and found                                                                     
the same information helpful.  He felt that the state                                                                           
statute could be structured to fit FEMA guidelines.  He                                                                         
thought the current statutes was not as restrictive as the                                                                      
FEMA guidelines and he wished to see a more narrow focus on                                                                     
the type of event allowed and also the immediacy of the                                                                         
impact. He noted that current law allowed for funding of                                                                        
capital projects a couple years after the event and did not                                                                     
address the immediate problems incurred during the                                                                              
disaster. He thought there was a difference between the                                                                         
immediate disaster relief funds focused on a catastrophic                                                                       
event with and immediate impact on the citizens and the                                                                         
funds for long term economic impact. He felt there could                                                                        
still be funding for the other projects but that they                                                                           
shouldn't be included in the provisions for emergencies.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Wilken asked what were the seven allowable                                                                         
disasters. Senator Sean Parnell answered, earthquakes                                                                           
tsmaumis, landslides, winter storms, floods, severe storms                                                                      
and fires were included in a FEMA listing as disasters that                                                                     
occur in Alaska.  Senator Dave Donley thought the language                                                                      
should be "severe winter storms."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson said many other states had adopted                                                                      
language similar to FEMA.  He read some information from                                                                        
the Stanford Act into the record, "In the determination of                                                                      
the President, causes damage of the magnitude to warrant                                                                        
major disaster assistance under the Disaster Relief Act of                                                                      
1974.." That language would ensure that the federal funding                                                                     
could be collected. Also the determination of which event                                                                       
caused the trigger of the Stanford Act was incorporated by                                                                      
reference to the act. It might be broader than the seven                                                                        
events listed by Senator Sean Parnell. He agreed with                                                                           
Senator Al Adams that the statute shouldn't be tightened up                                                                     
too much but by referencing the federal disasters law it                                                                        
could prevent the omission of an event the federal                                                                              
government might fund.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyda Green commented on Senator Al Adams's point                                                                        
referring to Section 3 a totally separate section on farm                                                                       
disaster that the Governor could declare if a natural                                                                           
disaster caused a crop failure. Co-Chair John Torgerson                                                                         
spoke about a recent crop failure in the Big Delta area due                                                                     
to drought.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JACK FARGNOLI, Y2K Coordinator for the State Of Alaska,                                                                         
spoke of concerns of his office about the uncertainty any                                                                       
enumeration scheme would put into place in general about                                                                        
disasters and in particularly with Y2K failures.  He said                                                                       
that not to oppose the logic or wisdom of speaking to an                                                                        
enumeration scheme or any attempt to clarify what the state                                                                     
wished to do regarding disasters. Any clarity was always                                                                        
laudable. In general, he felt the comments of the committee                                                                     
so far reflected those of the Y2K office that other events                                                                      
may need to be considered.  There were certain events                                                                           
unique to Alaska.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
In terms of a more narrow focus with the Y2K disasters, the                                                                     
department felt that Subsection C of the current bill was                                                                       
not changed and probably adequate. This was because most                                                                        
disasters that would emanate as a result of a Y2K event                                                                         
would probably be the result of an equipment failure.                                                                           
However, the language in Section C spoke to "avoidability"                                                                      
due to adequate maintenance.  His office had concerns about                                                                     
that because that was a question at the forefront of Y2K                                                                        
liability discussions.  There were strong arguments on both                                                                     
sides as to what was avoidable. Unfortunately, the courts                                                                       
had only just begun to speak to that issue and probably not                                                                     
make major determinations until after failures actually                                                                         
occurred.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He summarized stressing that their biggest concern was the                                                                      
immeasurable gaps that the current enumeration scheme might                                                                     
leave.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyda Green asked if the removal of the comma in                                                                         
Section C caused that problem.  She thought that what Jack                                                                      
Fargnoli referred to already was in statute. Jack Fargnoli                                                                      
said he was not asking for a change there.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson commented that this testimony made                                                                      
him want to tighten the language further with the threat of                                                                     
Y2K disaster funding expenditures.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips stressed that Section 2 (c) was                                                                          
currently in state statute and the Y2K office should have                                                                       
brought the concerns up several years ago.  Jack Fargnoli                                                                       
agreed that it was in the law and that his office had not                                                                       
made an issue of it because Y2K had not been a legal                                                                            
consideration for longer than the past year. They had non-                                                                      
urgent legal concerns about the language in subsection C.                                                                       
However, there was ambiguity to the issue.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips said the reason we were here was                                                                         
because of numerous audits regarding misappropriation of                                                                        
dollars for disaster relief. He said the process was not                                                                        
perfect but that was the reason for this bill. He                                                                               
reprimanded Mr. Fargnoli and the Administration for not                                                                         
offering a solution to the problems.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jack Fargnoli repeated that he was not here to testify                                                                          
against the intent of the bill, but it would cause                                                                              
uncertainty in the Y2K areas and he had broader concerns                                                                        
about things that might fall between the cracks. He listed                                                                      
attributes he felt the bill offered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Al Adams referred to lines 6 and 7 that would                                                                           
delete "a natural or manmade cause."  He wanted to know                                                                         
what would happen in cases such as the Miller's Reach Fire                                                                      
where it was determined that the fire was caused by                                                                             
firecrackers.  Would there be debate about the merits of                                                                        
the manmade cause of the fire while the fire was left to                                                                        
burn property and houses. Or would the definition of "fire"                                                                     
be sufficient? Jack Fargnoli deferred to others who were                                                                        
waiting to testify.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DAVID LIEBERSBACK, Director of Emergency Services,                                                                              
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, testified via                                                                      
teleconference from Anchorage. He began by stating that the                                                                     
division welcomed any opportunity to discuss process under                                                                      
which communities could seek help from state and federal                                                                        
government in times of disasters. In accordance with AK                                                                         
26.23.050, it had always been the policy of the state that                                                                      
funds to meet disaster emergencies would be available. This                                                                     
policy served the citizens of the state quite well,                                                                             
according to David Liebersback. Under the new definition in                                                                     
SB 101, which would narrow the event under which the                                                                            
Governor could declare a disaster, the state would be                                                                           
constrained to assist Alaskans when an unusual natural                                                                          
event occurred.  In addition, the division would be unable                                                                      
to respond to manmade events unless they were the release                                                                       
of oil or hazardous substance or an equipment failure, but                                                                      
only if that failure was predictably frequent, or a                                                                             
reoccurring event, or was not preventable by adequate                                                                           
equipment maintenance or operation. He listed past events                                                                       
from the last twenty years that would not be declarable                                                                         
under the new definition, including the 1979 Mat-Su Borough                                                                     
severe storm and high winds that closed roads and stranded                                                                      
residents.  Rescue vehicles were unable to reach those in                                                                       
danger and the state declared a disaster to enable the                                                                          
Department of Transportation and Public Utilities and the                                                                       
National Guard to clear the road. Other events were the                                                                         
1980 Anchorage windstorm that damaged over 5000 homes and                                                                       
businesses. In 1983 Ketchikan, a ship mishap damaged a dock                                                                     
on Gravina Island that was needed for fuel transport                                                                            
between the city and the airport. The state provided                                                                            
temporary alternate transportation until the dock was                                                                           
repaired.  In 1985 the Metlakatla severe drought reduced                                                                        
water levels so the hydroelectric system could not generate                                                                     
sufficient power. In 1989 statewide record-breaking cold                                                                        
saw temperatures down to -85 degrees.  The state and the                                                                        
federal government declared a disaster in order to provide                                                                      
for repairs to maintain and prevent damage to water, sewer,                                                                     
electrical systems and emergency re-supply of essential                                                                         
fuels and food. In 1991 severe erosion of the banks of the                                                                      
Mat-Su River destroyed or threatened homes along the bank.                                                                      
In 1991 the Seward sewage treatment lagoon suffered a                                                                           
catastrophic failure from undetermined causes.  Finally, in                                                                     
1998 Western Alaska Fisheries Disaster saw record high                                                                          
water temperatures in the Bering Sea and poor survival of                                                                       
all salmon and changes in migratory pathways, which lead to                                                                     
a collapse of the salmon run. The state requested federal                                                                       
disaster aid and the federal government responded as they                                                                       
did with the Texas drought crop failures due to extreme and                                                                     
unusual weather patterns.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He added other events that would not be covered. Any act as                                                                     
the result of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, train                                                                     
or shipwrecks caused by human error and Y2K failures would                                                                      
also be disasters that the division would be unable to                                                                          
respond to under the new requirements of the bill.                                                                              
Department of Environmental Conservation respectfully                                                                           
cautioned the committee to carefully consider this new                                                                          
definition because it would be extremely difficult to                                                                           
define and list each possible event that may harm the                                                                           
people or property of the state. He added a recent meteor                                                                       
hit in the Mat-Su Valley. Had it been larger or in a                                                                            
populated area, the state would be unable to declare a                                                                          
disaster under the new definition.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He summarized the list of events not allowed under the new                                                                      
provisions.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyda Green requested a written copy of the                                                                              
testimony given by David Liebersback.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson asked if any of the aforementioned                                                                      
disasters were federally declared.  David Liebersback                                                                           
replied that the 1989 cold spell was federally declared. He                                                                     
explained that in order to become a federal disaster, an                                                                        
event first had to be declared a state disaster.  Co-Chair                                                                      
John Torgerson clarified that the high winds experienced in                                                                     
Anchorage was not declared.  David Liebersback said it was                                                                      
a state declared disaster but it did receive federal Small                                                                      
Business Administration assistance due to the state                                                                             
declaration. The Small Business Administration was able to                                                                      
declare an agency disaster, which was different than a full                                                                     
presidential declared disaster.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson stated his desire to tighten the                                                                        
language and requested David Liebersback submit                                                                                 
suggestions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Loren Leman referred to the current language                                                                            
relating to oil or hazardous substance as, ".if the release                                                                     
required prompt action to avert environmental danger or                                                                         
damage.." He wondered if that was the same definition that                                                                      
was used under federal law or was it a broad definition of                                                                      
Title 26. David Liebersback answered that the definition of                                                                     
hazardous substance referred to AK 46.03.826, which                                                                             
governed the Department of Environmental Conservation and                                                                       
was a fairly broad definition.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Loren Leman was trying to determine if that statute                                                                     
would help the division with potential major sewer                                                                              
treatment failures. He said he would research the matter.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyda Green spoke to her concerns with the immediacy                                                                     
of response.  She wanted clarification of that language                                                                         
stipulating the difference between an emergency and an                                                                          
emergency disaster and to make it the focus. That was the                                                                       
area where a tremendous amount of funds were expended.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
David Liebersback responded that there were some options.                                                                       
He spoke about the recovery stage after an event saying it                                                                      
was a long-term process.  The division relied on FEMA for                                                                       
funding of recovery.  FEMA was not equipped to assist in                                                                        
the immediate response needed for some of the disasters in                                                                      
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyda Green referred to language in Section 26                                                                           
saying that emergency had a meaning given in US code.  She                                                                      
suggested the committee could research that area.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Loren Leman pointed out that the definition in                                                                          
Title 46 for hazardous substance was broader than he                                                                            
expected and read the language into the record. "An element                                                                     
or compound, which when it enters in the atmosphere or in                                                                       
or upon the water or surface or subsurface land or the sea,                                                                     
presents an eminent and substantial danger to public health                                                                     
or welfare including but not limited to fish, animal or                                                                         
vegetation or any part of the natural habitat in which they                                                                     
are found."  He believed that would cover the failure of a                                                                      
sewage treatment plant as well as a chlorine leak or                                                                            
similar event.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MARY GILSON, Assistant Attorney General, Governmental                                                                           
Affairs Section, Civil Division, Department of Law                                                                              
testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  She gave a                                                                        
historical perspective on the definition of disasters. The                                                                      
current definition of disaster was modeled after the Model                                                                      
State Disaster Act, written in 1972.  Many states had                                                                           
similar definitions. She had done research of other states                                                                      
and their definitions and found none with a finite list of                                                                      
disasters, and they were much broader.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson countered that his research found                                                                       
several states with tighter definitions.  Mary Gilson                                                                           
pointed out that Idaho used language, "included but not                                                                         
limited to." There was further debate between Co-Chair John                                                                     
Torgerson and Mary Gilson on this point.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips had a proposed Amendment #1 that he                                                                      
chose to not offer at the time.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Al Adams wanted to see a list of federal programs                                                                       
and funding available and what would happen if the statute                                                                      
were tightened.  He wanted to know what federal funding                                                                         
would be lost.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson said his intent was to incorporate                                                                      
language that would allow for all available federal                                                                             
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley wanted to consider modifications to AS                                                                      
26.23.025, specifically subsection C (1) where the language                                                                     
discussed the requirement of a special session or                                                                               
authorization of the presiding officers to spend more than                                                                      
$1 million. He wanted to add a $5 million cap on that                                                                           
figure. Secondly, for expenditures over $5 million, he felt                                                                     
the presiding officers should poll the members of the                                                                           
Legislature to obtain written approval by the majority of                                                                       
the Legislature for additional expenditures.  He felt the                                                                       
original language was adopted before the advent of fax                                                                          
machines, e-mail and cellular phones, when it was more                                                                          
difficult for people to reach one another.  Now technology                                                                      
provided plenty of opportunity to consult the members of                                                                        
the Legislature.  He felt a $5 million cap was reasonable.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson did not approve of the idea of                                                                          
polling members of the Legislature on substantial binding                                                                       
issues, suggesting this would open up another issue                                                                             
involving open meeting violations and other problems.                                                                           
Senator Dave Donley said he would rather there was more                                                                         
than the two presiding officers involved in the expenditure                                                                     
decision making. His proposal would not be in conflict of                                                                       
the Open Meetings Act if the current practice of obtaining                                                                      
approval from the presiding officers was not in conflict.                                                                       
This method would allow a majority to make the decision to                                                                      
authorize funds for disasters. Co-Chair John Torgerson                                                                          
countered that he didn't believe the Speaker of the House                                                                       
and the President of the Senate were currently approving                                                                        
any expenditure of funds.  They were just deciding whether                                                                      
or not to call the Legislature into a special session.  He                                                                      
admitted that this decision would in fact affect whether or                                                                     
not funds would be expended, but they still would not be                                                                        
approved without the approval of the body of the                                                                                
Legislature.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley said the poll could therefore be held                                                                       
to determine whether or not there would be a special                                                                            
session. Co-Chair John Torgerson conceded.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson ordered the bill held in committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a short recess.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 33                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Task Force on Privatization;                                                                            
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
This was the third hearing for this bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson noted the committee had just been                                                                       
handed out a proposed CS Version ".  He detailed the                                                                            
changes. On page 2 language was inserted beginning with                                                                         
line 16 after, "Items not subject to bargaining.." A new                                                                        
subsection (5) was added that stated, "the unrestricted                                                                         
authority of the employer to enter into contracts with an                                                                       
entity of the private sector of the economy to perform a                                                                        
function previously performed by state employees." He                                                                           
explained that this would allow the state to privatize some                                                                     
sections of government without any prohibitions from the                                                                        
employee bargaining contracts.  This was because, under                                                                         
this provision, the Administration was prohibited from                                                                          
using any privatization restrictions in the bargaining                                                                          
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Also changed was language from Section 3, line 29, which                                                                        
would now read, ".The labor or employee organization                                                                            
representing those employees may prepare and submit on                                                                          
behalf of the employees to demonstrate that the state will                                                                      
not reduce costs by contracting the performance of that                                                                         
function.  A response prepared or submitted by the labor                                                                        
employee union is not entitled to a preference over bids                                                                        
submitted to perform the function, but the state shall                                                                          
consider the response before making its decisions."  This                                                                       
again directed the Administration not to bargain the                                                                            
privatization option away.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He asked that committee members review the Workdraft and                                                                        
come back to the committee with comments and suggestions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Loren Leman asked if this version incorporated any                                                                      
amendments adopted at its earlier hearing. Co-Chair John                                                                        
Torgerson was unsure if any of the earlier amendments were                                                                      
actually adopted.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Loren Leman said he would offer other amendments at                                                                     
the next meeting to address the mandate to the advisory                                                                         
council.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson ordered the bill held in committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley shared with the committee that he had                                                                       
met with the Attorney General to discuss the current forms                                                                      
the Legislature received regarding information on                                                                               
judgements and claims. Senator Dave Donley had a handout                                                                        
for the committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Tape: SFC - 99 #55, Side B 9:58 AM                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He had proposed to the Attorney General there were some                                                                         
items for which the Legislature would like additional                                                                           
information and handed out to the committee a copy of the                                                                       
suggested changes. The Attorney General was receptive to                                                                        
the suggestions, according to Senator Dave Donley, and in                                                                       
fact said he would move forward within the department to                                                                        
incorporate those ideas into future forms. There were                                                                           
however a couple items the Attorney General had concerns                                                                        
about.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley compared the current forms to his                                                                           
proposed replacements noting the information the committee                                                                      
felt was missing during the appropriation hearings.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The distinction between the two versions of the Department                                                                      
of Law Judgement and Claims Payment Information was the                                                                         
addition of items eight and nine.  They asked the questions                                                                     
of what was the hourly rate charged by the attorneys                                                                            
involved, and what was the amount the court approved, that                                                                      
the Legislature was being asked to reimburse. He felt that                                                                      
was important because there were some cases were the court                                                                      
was ordering the state to pay some attorneys $275 an hour,                                                                      
which was vastly beyond what would be available under Rule                                                                      
82 in any other case, and also beyond the industry norm.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The second form was the Judgement Award Questionnaire.  He                                                                      
added several questions. First was number five, which                                                                           
asked, "Who was responsible for the state incurring this                                                                        
cost?"  That was an effort to bring accountability to the                                                                       
process and determine what individual made the decision or                                                                      
committed the act that incurred the cost to the state for                                                                       
the judgement amount. Question six asked, "What corrective                                                                      
action had been taken to prevent future problems?" Question                                                                     
seven asked, "What action has been taken to hold any                                                                            
responsible party accountable?"  Examples of actions could                                                                      
be the placement of a letter into the employee's personnel                                                                      
file for violation of state personnel rules. Senator Dave                                                                       
Donley felt that would be appropriate. Question eight asked                                                                     
existed on the current form. Question nine asked for ".any                                                                      
recommendations for changes in statutes, regulations or                                                                         
policy and cite any applicable statutes or regulations." He                                                                     
felt that would be helpful information for the finance                                                                          
committees as they reviewed the requests for judgements and                                                                     
claims.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The Attorney General had expressed concerns about question                                                                      
five. Senator Dave Donley could understand those concerns                                                                       
and offered that separate statutes be adopted to immunize                                                                       
the state from challenges by affected employees.  He argued                                                                     
that this would be an appropriate exception to the general                                                                      
rule of confidentiality when the state was required to pay                                                                      
large amounts of money because an employee violated someone                                                                     
else's civil rights.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley shared a suggestion made to him by Co-                                                                      
Chair Sean Parnell to possibly request a duplicate of the                                                                       
Judgement Award Questionnaire form from the department that                                                                     
incurred the cost. Senator Dave Donley added that he would                                                                      
like future appropriation hearings to have a representative                                                                     
from the affected department join the Department of Law in                                                                      
testifying to the committee.  Currently, he felt bad for                                                                        
the Department of Law representative who had to make the                                                                        
request and defend the actions of another department, who                                                                       
was not present to answer questions. He felt that the                                                                           
affected departments bore no responsibility and was not                                                                         
held accountable because they did not have to face the                                                                          
Legislature and explain their actions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He suggested members work with him on finalizing these new                                                                      
questions and that the committee adopt these as SFC                                                                             
committee forms.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Loren Leman liked question 8 on the first form and                                                                      
wanted to include the total attorney fee along with the                                                                         
hourly rate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson said Co-Chair Sean Parnell would                                                                        
bring the matter up again to allow the committee to adopt                                                                       
the forms and require their use for reporting purposes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair John Torgerson announced the next day's agenda.                                                                        
The committee would hear SB 5, SB 27, SB 51 and HB 77.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNED                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Torgerson adjourned the meeting at 10:06 AM                                                                             
SFC-99 (1) 3/15/99                                                                                                              

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