Legislature(1999 - 2000)

05/17/1999 09:25 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
MINUTES                                                                                                                         
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                                        
17 May 1999                                                                                                                     
9:25 A.M.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPES                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SFC-99, #144, Sides A and B                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair John Torgerson convened the meeting at                                                                                 
approximately 9:25 A.M.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
In addition to Co-chair John Torgerson, Senators Dave                                                                           
Donley, Loren Leman, Al Adams, Pete Kelly, Lyda Green, Randy                                                                    
Phillips, Gary Wilken were present when the meeting was                                                                         
convened.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Also Attending:   JOSEPH PERKINS, Commissioner, Department                                                                      
of Transportation and Public Facilities; DENNIS POSHARD,                                                                        
Legislative Liaison, Office of the Commissioner, Department                                                                     
of Transportation and Public Facilities; DWIGHT PERKINS,                                                                        
Deputy Commissioner, Department of Labor; REBECCA GOMEZ,                                                                        
Director, Division of Employment Security, Department of                                                                        
Labor; JUANITA HENSLEY, Director, Division of Motor                                                                             
Vehicles; BRAD PIERCE, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of the                                                                     
Director, Office of Management and Budget; REMOND HENDERSON,                                                                    
Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of                                                                    
Labor; WENDY REDMAN, Vice President, University of Alaska;                                                                      
CAROL CARROLL, Director, Division of Administrative                                                                             
Services, Department of Natural Resources; PHIL OKESON,                                                                         
Fiscal Analyst, Division of Legislative Finance;                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Via Teleconference:  DAVID EBERLE, Director, Construction                                                                       
and Operations, Central Region, Department of Transportation                                                                    
and Public Facilities, Anchorage;  JANE ANGVIK, Director,                                                                       
Division of Lands, Department of Natural Resources,                                                                             
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson convened the meeting at approximately                                                                        
9:25 a.m.  He said he would proceed with the agenda in the                                                                      
order items were listed.  He first called HB 84.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 84                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to international airports revenue                                                                              
bonds; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS POSHARD, Legislative Liaison, Department of                                                                              
Transportation and Public Facilities was invited to join the                                                                    
committee.  He briefly commented to the bill.  In February                                                                      
of this year $179 million in bonds was issued by the                                                                            
department and they have begun development of the airport                                                                       
international terminal.  At this point it is five percent                                                                       
complete with full operation for construction to begin this                                                                     
summer.  The project will have a short-term cash flow, which                                                                    
will be solved by this bill and will help maintain the                                                                          
construction schedule.  Proceeds from the LOI will be used                                                                      
to offset the cash flow.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
In summary, he said the project was good for Anchorage                                                                          
International Airport.  In making use of the Federal funding                                                                    
it will help reduce airport-landing fees.  Lower costs to                                                                       
the airlines will also benefit the traveling public.  He                                                                        
asked favorable vote by the committee on the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH PERKINS, Commissioner, Department of Transportation                                                                      
and Public Facilities was invited to join the committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilken said the people of the State want to know the                                                                    
benefits of this airport.  There are many who have concerns.                                                                    
Commissioner Perkins responded that it was a perception                                                                         
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAVID EBERLE, Director, Construction and Operations, Central                                                                    
Region, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                      
testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  He said he was                                                                    
available only to answer any questions the committee may                                                                        
have.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman MOVED HB 84.  There was brief discussion                                                                          
amongst committee members.  WITHOUT OBJECTION IT was                                                                            
REPORTED OUT with individual recommendations and                                                                                
accompanying zero fiscal note from the Department of                                                                            
Revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson next called HB 87.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 87                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to money credited to the account of                                                                            
the state in the unemployment trust fund by the                                                                                 
Secretary of the Treasury of the United States; and                                                                             
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DWIGHT PERKINS, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Labor was                                                                    
invited to join the committee.  He commented briefly in                                                                         
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
In response to a question by Senator Phillips, Mr. Perkins                                                                      
said the funding was for equipment and other related                                                                            
matters.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green asked if this was something that would show up                                                                    
in next year's budget?  Mr. Perkins said he did not think it                                                                    
would but would defer to Ms. Gamez from Division of                                                                             
Employment Security.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA GAMEZ, Director, Division of Employment Security                                                                        
Division, Department of Labor was invited to join the                                                                           
committee.  She responded briefly to Senator Green's query.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Perkins said they were not part of the legislation                                                                          
concerning Y2K.  They were doing their own upgrades and                                                                         
compliance checks with Federal dollars.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson asked for a copy of the Federal                                                                              
regulations.  Mr. Perkins said he would provide the                                                                             
committee with a copy.  There is no GF in unemployment funds                                                                    
responded Mr. Perkins in answer to a query from Co-chair                                                                        
Torgerson.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Gamez said the Federal government had not given states                                                                      
back any money was in about thirty years.  She further                                                                          
advised that these monies would be spent on administration,                                                                     
including capital expenditures, salaries, lease costs, and                                                                      
anything that has to do with the administration of the                                                                          
program.  She will check and see if there is a time limit on                                                                    
the spending of these funds.  She believed it was three                                                                         
years. Currently, they have authority to use Federal                                                                            
unidentified funds.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
They must upgrade their system because they are now                                                                             
obsolete.  They must make sure it will happen and hope that                                                                     
it will come under the Reed Act.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green asked if these monies would supplant any other                                                                    
funds that may have been used more broadly?  Ms. Gomez said                                                                     
these questions were asked in the House and she will supply                                                                     
a copy of this information.  She referred specifically to a                                                                     
letter to Representative Rokeberg.  Copies of this letter                                                                       
will also be provided the committee.  Included in the packet                                                                    
is a response to a question by Co-chair Torgerson that there                                                                    
was a two-year limit to expend the funds.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson said he would SET ASIDE HB 87 at this                                                                        
time pending receipt of requested information.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a five-minute recess.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson reconvened the committee at approximately                                                                    
10:12 A.M.  He called HB 227.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 227                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
"An Act modifying the Department of Natural Resources'                                                                          
power to control and manage certain land within the                                                                             
Hatcher Pass Public Use Area and making that land                                                                               
available for selection by the Matanuska-Susitna                                                                                
Borough."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 227(RES)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
"An Act modifying the Department of Natural Resources'                                                                          
power to control and manage certain land within the                                                                             
Hatcher Pass Public Use Area and making that land                                                                               
available for selection by the Matanuska-Susitna                                                                                
Borough."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 227(RES) am                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act making up to 160 acres of land available for                                                                            
selection by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN, sponsor of the bill was invited                                                                      
to join the committee.  He said they were only asking for 60                                                                    
acres out of the Hatcher Pass Public Use Area.  Any proceeds                                                                    
from the sale of the land will revert to the general fund of                                                                    
the State.  This will help out the Mat-Su Valley and will                                                                       
help to broaden the tax base.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JANE ANGVIK, Director, Division of Lands, Department of                                                                         
Natural Resources testified via teleconference from                                                                             
Anchorage.  They support the bill as it stands before the                                                                       
committee.  She said she was happy to answer any questions                                                                      
the committee may have.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ogan said the fiscal amount attached would be                                                                    
returned in the form of general funds.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green MOVED CSHB 227(RES) am and WITHOUT OBJECTION                                                                      
it was REPORTED OUT with individual recommendations and                                                                         
accompanying fiscal note in the amount of $11.1 from the                                                                        
Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson said HB 231 would be moved to the bottom                                                                     
of the calendar.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 231                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to income of the Alaska permanent                                                                              
fund, to the Alaska Income Account, and to permanent                                                                            
fund dividends; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson then called HB 151.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 151                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to revocation and reinstatement of the                                                                         
driver's license of a person at least 14 but not yet 21                                                                         
years of age."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 151(JUD)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to revocation and reinstatement of the                                                                         
driver's license of a person at least 14 but not yet 21                                                                         
years of age."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 151(JUD) am                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to revocation and reinstatement of the                                                                         
driver's license of a person at least 14 but not yet 21                                                                         
years of age."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COREY WINCHELL, staff to Representative PETE KOTT, sponsor                                                                      
of the bill was invited to join the committee.  He read the                                                                     
sponsor statement into the record.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman commented.  He suggested we should be speaking                                                                    
to young individuals regarding the dangers of drinking.  "Is                                                                    
this available administratively?"  Mr. Winchell said this                                                                       
was discussed at length in the Judiciary committee.  They                                                                       
want the Court to mandate community service and it should be                                                                    
left to the District court.  Senator Leman said community                                                                       
service should be offered as an alternative and let the                                                                         
individual choose this method if they like.  He said that                                                                       
most young individuals would do anything to be able to drive                                                                    
again.  This included for school, their jobs and other                                                                          
reasons.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, Chair of the Senate Judiciary                                                                             
Committee was invited to join the committee.  He told the                                                                       
committee that he has put this bill on a personal priority.                                                                     
This legislation would repeal the "use and lose" bill                                                                           
presently enacted.  Unfortunately, there are full-blown                                                                         
alcoholics at the young age fifteen in the State of Alaska.                                                                     
This problem needs to be addressed.  He called the                                                                              
committee's attention  to page five, line sixteen and said                                                                      
he had an amendment to correct this.  He explained the                                                                          
"Kiddie ASAP" program.  He noted the  high fiscal note                                                                          
submitted by the department.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In further comment, he said, for instance, Public Defenders                                                                     
are going to have to be appointed and this in turn is going                                                                     
to cost the State more money.  Ms. Carpeneti, Assistant                                                                         
Attorney General, Department of Law can further testify to                                                                      
this portion of the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Even though this is not a priority piece of legislation it                                                                      
is one that must be worked on.  He referred to his amendment                                                                    
and said that it would strip out the extra costs loaded on                                                                      
by the department without taking away the basic matter of                                                                       
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson said he would like to see a copy of the                                                                      
CS as proposed by Senator Taylor.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
(Tape #144, Side A, switched to Side B at log #587.)                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
In conclusion, Senator Taylor said the big thing was to get                                                                     
rid of the fiscal note.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal                                                                            
Division, Department of Law was invited to join the                                                                             
committee.  Apparently what was previously enacted was not                                                                      
working.  The "use and lose" bill needed some fine-tuning.                                                                      
They do not want to lose what tools they have already in                                                                        
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman said he agreed that the penalties were too                                                                        
severe.  Good behavior should be encouraged.  Perhaps                                                                           
children should be assigned into programs that already                                                                          
exist.  He said he did not think the matter could be                                                                            
resolved this year but feels it is important enough to work                                                                     
on for next year.  Department of Motor Vehicles should have                                                                     
the authority to give back licenses to 21-year olds who have                                                                    
had no further violations.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson asked Ms. Carpeneti to review the                                                                            
proposed work draft CS as proposed by Senator Taylor and                                                                        
report back this afternoon.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JUANITA HENSLEY, Director, Division of Motor Vehicles was                                                                       
invited to join the committee.  She said they were satisfied                                                                    
with the bill and the proposed CS was acceptable.  It would                                                                     
also allow them to run revocations concurrent, rather than                                                                      
stack them on top of each other.  They do support the work                                                                      
draft CS as passed out by Senator Taylor.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilken asked the changes between "F" and "P".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
(There followed a pause on record.)                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hensley advised the committee that if the proposed work                                                                     
draft CS were to be adopted the fiscal note would revert to                                                                     
zero.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman was concerned about the increment staying at                                                                      
thirty days.  Perhaps there should be a progressive increase                                                                    
in the penalty.  Ms. Hensley explained the current problems                                                                     
of consecutive sentences.  She said there were over nine                                                                        
thousand pending consecutive sentences.  Ms. Hensley                                                                            
explained that someone who had committed the offenses when                                                                      
they were a juvenile and now were 25-year old adults had no                                                                     
way of getting their license back.  Some may have had as                                                                        
many as eighteen pending offenses as a juvenile.  She                                                                           
reviewed the difference in the revocations for Anchorage,                                                                       
Fairbanks and Juneau.  In response to a question by Senator                                                                     
Phillips she said it was not dependent on population.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman said running the sentences concurrent was not                                                                     
enough of a deterrent.  The bill needs work throughout the                                                                      
interim.  He suggested that the department consider the                                                                         
lower end regarding the first one or two violations and                                                                         
perhaps the penalty be made a little stiffer.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green voiced concern over individuals having                                                                            
eighteen violations.  Ms. Hensley responded.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson said he would SET ASIDE HB 151 until the                                                                     
evening calendar.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Torgerson recessed the committee until call of the                                                                     
chair.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SFC-99 -1- 05/17/99 am                                                                                                          

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