Legislature(1999 - 2000)

05/04/1999 09:32 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
MINUTES                                                                                                                         
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                                        
May 4, 1999                                                                                                                     
9:32 AM                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPES                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SFC-99 # 120, Sides A and B                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Torgerson convened the meeting at approximately                                                                        
9:32 A.M.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
In addition to Co-chair Torgerson, Senators Sean Parnell,                                                                       
Dave Donley, Loren Leman, Gary Wilken, Pete Kelly, Lyda                                                                         
Green, Randy Phillips and Al Adams were present when the                                                                        
meeting was convened.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Also Attending: DOUG SALIK, staff to Senator Tim Kelly; BOB                                                                     
KROGSENG, staff to Senator Robin Taylor; DENNIS POSHARD;                                                                        
Legislative Liaison, Office of the Commissioner, Department                                                                     
of Transportation and Public Facilities;  NANCY SLAGLE;                                                                         
Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department                                                                       
of Transportation and Public Facilities; KURT PARKAN;                                                                           
Deputy Commissioner, Department of Transportation and                                                                           
Public Facilities; WILLIAM CUMMINGS, Assistant Attorney                                                                         
General, Transportation Section, Civil Division Juneau,                                                                         
Department of Law; aides to committee members and other                                                                         
members of the Legislature.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Attending via Teleconference:  DAN BOCKHORST, Local                                                                             
Boundary Commissioner from Anchorage.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson reconvened the meeting at approximately                                                                      
9:35 a.m.  He asked Senator Donley to walk the committee                                                                        
through the new CS for SB 135 "H" version.  His amendments                                                                      
were incorporated into this version.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
 SENATE BILL NO. 135                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to the membership of a metropolitan                                                                            
highway planning organization."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Donley said the bill was sponsored by the                                                                               
Transportation Committee.  He explained the reduction to                                                                        
the appointees by the Governor to one.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Also added was a deadline for AMATS to report to the                                                                            
Legislature.  Last year they reported too late, after the                                                                       
capital budget was put out.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Donley MOVED CSSB 135() "H".  Senator Adams                                                                             
OBJECTED.  He stated for the record that he would like to                                                                       
see someone from the Department of Environmental                                                                                
Conservation to be part of the voting block.  Senator Adams                                                                     
REMOVED his objection.  WITHOUT OBJECTION CSSB 135() "H"                                                                        
was adopted as the working draft before the committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS POSHARD, Department of Transportation and Public                                                                         
Facilities was invited to join the committee.  He explained                                                                     
that the Department of Environmental Conservation signed an                                                                     
agreement.  The Department of Transportation and Public                                                                         
Facilities was unclear as to what the bill was trying to                                                                        
solve.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Phillips asked Mr. Poshard if he lived in Juneau or                                                                     
not.  He said he did not feel this situation was working                                                                        
out.  The Department of Transportation did not want to                                                                          
release any control of the process.  He said he was going                                                                       
to send a schedule of the AMATS meetings and ask him to                                                                         
attend.  His biggest concern was that individuals were                                                                          
taking time off from work and meetings were then being                                                                          
cancelled.  Perhaps the structure should be looked at and                                                                       
fixed.  Senator Donley said he was trying to correct this                                                                       
matter.  Policy meetings go on forever and then no decision                                                                     
was made.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson said he would entertain a motion to                                                                          
change the fiscal note for the Department of Environmental                                                                      
Conservation to zero.  Senator Donley so MOVED.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL CUMMINGS, Assistant Attorney General, Transportation                                                                       
Section, Civil Division, Department of Law was invited to                                                                       
join the committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Donley MOVED to adopt a Senate Finance Committee                                                                        
fiscal note in place of the Department of Environmental                                                                         
Conservation one to zero.  WITHOUT OBJECTION it was                                                                             
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cummings continued his testimony.   The Department of                                                                       
Law believes this legislation is unconstitutional.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman commented briefly.  He suggested the                                                                              
Department of Law go back and research the matter.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson refused response by Mr. Cummings.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green asked about Legislative appointees.  Perhaps                                                                      
they should be changed too.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Donley MOVED CSSB 135(FIN) with accompanying fiscal                                                                     
note and new Senate Finance fiscal note in the amount of                                                                        
zero (for the Department of Environmental Conservation) and                                                                     
WITHOUT OBJECTION it was REPORTED OUT with individual                                                                           
recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes from the                                                                          
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities in the                                                                       
amount of zero and Senate Finance Committee fiscal note in                                                                      
the amount of zero for the Department of Environmental                                                                          
Conservation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson called SB 139.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 139                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to the labeling of fish and fisheries                                                                          
products as farmed, or wild or natural."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
BOB KROGSENG, staff to Senator Robin Taylor was invited to                                                                      
join the committee and explained the sponsor statement.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Parnell asked if there was a public policy                                                                              
labelling farmed fish, natural or wild?                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Krogseng explained, for instance, the difference in                                                                         
"Petersburg" shrimp.  "Farmed shrimp coming from overseas                                                                       
are not quality.   They have a very musty, old taste."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green comments.  She explained "wildstock" term.                                                                        
She asked who does the inspection and enforcement; who does                                                                     
the control?  "This is not a retailer friendly bill."  She                                                                      
indicated that she saw no reason to support the bill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman referred to the  "no smoking" sign in the                                                                         
committee room.  Even though the Department of                                                                                  
Environmental Conservation has not collected the $50, and                                                                       
probably never will, it was still a constraint.  It was his                                                                     
suggestion that the consumer "ought to know".                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Parnell commented and said he was flabbergasted                                                                         
that the committee was even hearing the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator P. Kelly said perhaps it should be called an "Act                                                                       
related to buggy whips".                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson SET ASIDE SB 139.  He then called SB
156.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 SENATE BILL NO. 156                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to municipal incorporation, to                                                                                 
reclassification of cities, to municipal boundary                                                                               
changes, and to dissolution of municipalities."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DOUG SALIK, staff to Senator Tim Kelly was invited to join                                                                      
the committee.  He deferred to Dan Bockhorst, Local                                                                             
Boundary Commission in Anchorage.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DAN BOCKHORST, Local Boundary Commission testified via                                                                          
teleconference from Anchorage.  He urged the committee to                                                                       
support the bill and said he would be happy to answer any                                                                       
questions the committee may have.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Adams MOVED SB 156 and WITHOUT OBJECTION it was                                                                         
REPORTED OUT with individual recommendations and zero                                                                           
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson called SB 10.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 10                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to an optional exemption from                                                                                  
municipal property taxes for recreational facilities."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 10                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
"An Act requiring a utility that provides services in                                                                           
a municipality with a population of more than 100,000                                                                           
to have an ongoing program of placing existing                                                                                  
overhead utility lines underground; and relating to                                                                             
rates for recovering the cost of placing existing                                                                               
overhead utility lines underground."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Donley explained the work draft "S" dated 5/3/99.                                                                       
He referred briefly to page 2, lines 7 and 8.  He made a                                                                        
technical correction on page 2, line 4 to delete "retail".                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He MOVED CSSSSB10() "S" with the deletion on page 2, line 4                                                                     
"retail".  WITHOUT OBJECTION it was ADOPTED as the working                                                                      
draft with the deletion on page 2, line 4, "retail".                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green said, however, she would not be supporting                                                                        
this piece of legislation.  She indicated that it was not                                                                       
up to this body to tell the City of Anchorage how to handle                                                                     
their city matters.  Senator Adams said he was supporting                                                                       
the bill because it was only limited to Anchorage.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Kelly asked if there were any benefits to being on                                                                      
the Anchorage assembly.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green reminded Senator Adams that they were only                                                                        
one word away from being included in legislation.  Senator                                                                      
Adams responded.  It included numbers.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson said he was reluctant to change the                                                                          
fiscal note without the Public Utilities Commission seeing                                                                      
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Donley offered further brief comments.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson HELD the bill in committee pending the                                                                       
Public Utilities Commission seeing the bill and checking                                                                        
their fiscal note.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson called SCR 8.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 8                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Creating the Long-Term Care Task Force of 1999.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilken briefly explained the resolution.  He then                                                                       
MOVED SCR 8 and WITHOUT OBJECTION it was REPORTED OUT with                                                                      
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note                                                                         
from LAA/Leg. Council in the amount of $15.7.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNED                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson recessed at approximately 10:35 a.m.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SFC-99 -6- 05/04/99 an                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects