Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/16/2003 02:37 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                              MINUTES                                                                                         
                     SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                           May 16, 2003                                                                                       
                              2:37 PM                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPES                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SFC-03 # 101, Side A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Lyda  Green convened the meeting at approximately  2:37 PM.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyda Green, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Con Bunde, Vice Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Robin Taylor                                                                                                            
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Also Attending:  SENATOR GARY STEVENS;  GREG O'CLARY, Commissioner,                                                           
Department  of  Labor and  Workforce  Development;  BARBARA  BITNEY,                                                            
Staff  to  Representative   Bill  Stoltze;  TOM  WRIGHT,   Staff  to                                                            
Representative  John Harris;  LANDA BAILY,  Legislative Liaison  and                                                            
Special  Assistant,  Office  of  the  Commissioner,   Department  of                                                            
Revenue;   DAN  SPENCER,   Director,  Division   of  Administrative                                                             
Services, Department of Administration                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Attending via  Teleconference: From Offnet Sites:  RIVER BEAN; LARRY                                                          
BEVILBISS;  MARK REMPEL,  Organic Farmer;  From Mat-Su: ERIC  YOULD,                                                            
Executive Director, ARECA;  From Anchorage: CRAIG TILLERY, Assistant                                                            
Attorney    General,   Environmental    Section,   Civil    Division                                                            
(Anchorage),  Department of Law; MARK  DAVIS, Director, Division  of                                                            
Banking,  Securities  & Corporations,  Department  of Community  and                                                            
Economic Development                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 155-PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION PROJECT REQUIREMENTS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The  Committee heard  from  the Department  of Labor  and  Workforce                                                            
Development and reported the bill from Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB 104-PAYMENT OF FISHERY BUSINESS TAX                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  heard  from the sponsor  and reported  the bill  from                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB 226-ORGANIC FOOD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  heard from  the sponsor, took  public testimony,  and                                                            
reported the bill from Committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HCR 21-ALASKA ENERGY POLICY TASK FORCE                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The  Committee  heard  testimony   from  the  sponsor,  took  public                                                            
testimony,  considered and adopted  one amendment, and reported  the                                                            
bill from Committee.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 248-SALARY OF CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  heard from the Department of Administration  and held                                                            
the bill in Committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SB 211-REGULATIONS: NOTICE AND DISTRIBUTION                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  took  testimony from  the Department  of Law and  the                                                            
Department of Community  and Economic Development. The bill was held                                                            
in Committee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 155(FIN)                                                                                             
     "An Act  relating to the submission  of payroll information  by                                                            
     contractors  and  subcontractors  performing work  on a  public                                                            
     construction contract;  requiring a notice of work by employers                                                            
     on   public   construction   contracts;   providing   for   the                                                            
     withholding   of   final  payment   for   public  construction                                                             
     contracts; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor moved to  report the bill from Committee and objected                                                            
to the motion for purpose of discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
GREG  O'CLARY,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Labor  and  Workforce                                                            
Development  informed that this is  revenue-generating legislation,                                                             
as it would require a prevailing  wage rate-filing fee to be paid to                                                            
the State by the  construction industry when they  are involved in a                                                            
public  construction   project.  He   explained  that  the   revenue                                                            
generated  from this  fee would  replace Department  demands on  the                                                            
general  fund, which, he  asserted, would  enhance the Department's                                                             
efforts  to  support  the  Administration's  goal  of  reducing  the                                                            
State's budget to lessen  the need for Constitutional Budget Reserve                                                            
(CBR)  fund draws.  He referred  the Committee  to the accompanying                                                             
Department  fiscal note  that reflects  a positive  $2.5 million  in                                                            
revenue.  He noted  the Department's  request to  add an  accounting                                                            
clerk position  to handle these filings,  and he furthered  that the                                                            
legislation would permit  the industry to file wage information on a                                                            
bi-weekly basis rather  than the weekly basis as currently required.                                                            
Additionally,  he noted, an  online payroll  filing system  would be                                                            
implemented  to lessen filing requirement  demands on the  industry.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  stated that originally there was opposition  to this                                                            
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. O'Clary  clarified that the current  version of the bill  has no                                                            
opposition.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor removed his objection to the motion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further objection, CS HB 155(FIN)  was REPORTED from                                                            
Committee with previous  fiscal note #2 from the Department of Labor                                                            
and Workforce Development.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 104(FSH)                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to payment of the fisheries business tax and                                                              
     to security for collection of the fisheries business tax."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
"personal"  recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal note,  then he                                                            
objected to  the motion in order to  hear testimony from  the bill's                                                            
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS, the  bill's sponsor,  informed the  Committee                                                            
that the Governor's  Fisheries Task Force was formed  to address the                                                            
"in  crisis" fishing  industry.  He  continued  that this  bill  was                                                            
crafted by the  Fisheries Task Force to assist the  fishing industry                                                            
by allowing  small  processors  to defer  payment  of the  Fisheries                                                            
Business Tax  to April first and make  monthly payments rather  than                                                            
                                            st                                                                                  
one lump sum  payment on or before  March 31  of the  year following                                                            
the tax year.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde  mentioned that, as reflected in the  fiscal note, the                                                            
monthly  payment process  would require  an increase  in  accounting                                                            
personnel;  however, he  noted that  the receipt  of these  payments                                                            
would "counterbalance"  the fiscal note as it would  allow the State                                                            
to access funds earlier than the current process.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator  G. Stevens  agreed the  funds  would be  available for  the                                                            
State to  invest. He reminded  the Committee  that this legislation                                                             
would  affect   approximately  one   dozen  small  processors,   and                                                            
therefore,  he  asserted,  the program  would  be "fairly  easy"  to                                                            
administer.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator B. Stevens  voiced support for this legislation  as it would                                                            
assist small  processors  "with their cash  management" by  removing                                                            
"the  burden of  putting  up a  big  bond at  the beginning  of  the                                                            
season."  He noted that  this program  "is only  available to  those                                                            
that are current  on all tax obligations;"  however, he stated  that                                                            
it  would  continue  the  requirement  of  a  bond  or  property  as                                                            
collateral  while allowing the processor  to make monthly  payments.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green asked whether  the Department of Revenue could absorb                                                            
the $14,000 fiscal note.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  G. Stevens  responded that  the Department  has  determined                                                            
this to be the cost of the program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor withdrew his objection to the motion.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further objection, CS HB 104(FSH)  was REPORTED from                                                            
Committee  with  previous  fiscal note  #2  from the  Department  of                                                            
Revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     HOUSE BILL NO. 226                                                                                                         
     "An Act relating  to the sale, offer for sale,  representation,                                                            
     and  labeling  of  food  or  other  agricultural   products  as                                                            
     organic,  and to the state organic  certification program;  and                                                            
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA  BITNEY, Staff to  Representative  Bill Stoltze, the  bill's                                                            
sponsor, informed  the Committee that this legislation  is presented                                                            
to "simply  adopt the  federal standard  of organic"  and allow  the                                                            
State to  implement a certification  program  to enable the  State's                                                            
agricultural  districts  to certify  Alaskan produce.  She  informed                                                            
that, absent  an Alaska certified  organic program, Alaskan  growers                                                            
must pay  to have their  crops certified  as organic, at  tremendous                                                            
expense,  by the  states of  Oregon or  Washington.  She noted  that                                                            
program receipts would support the $37,000 fiscal note.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor voiced "strong support" for the legislation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RIVER  BEAN testified  via teleconference  from an  offnet site  and                                                            
urged the Committee  to support this legislation,  as it would allow                                                            
his company's produce to  be labeled and certified within the State.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LARRY BEVILBISS testified  via teleconference from an offnet site in                                                            
support  of  the  bill. He  commented  that  the  industry  and  the                                                            
Department  have  worked  diligently  to  keep the  expense  of  the                                                            
organic certification  program to  a minimum, and he apologized  for                                                            
there being a fiscal note.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MARK REMPEL,  Organic Farmer, testified  via teleconference  from an                                                            
offnet site,  in support of the bill  as it encourages the  "organic                                                            
niche market" to continue to expand.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bunde asked  whether avenues,  such as  a corporate  income                                                            
tax, might allow  the State to recoup the cost of  implementing this                                                            
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bevilbiss  responded that while  agricultural businesses  do not                                                            
pay a  corporate business  tax to  the State,  they are required  to                                                            
have an Alaska business  license and must purchase the Alaskan Grown                                                            
organic certification label.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Bitney  affirmed   that   businesses   would   be  charged   a                                                            
certification  fee as well  as a fee  for use  of the Alaskan  Grown                                                            
certification label.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor voiced that  these fees and the growth of the organic                                                            
agriculture industry would benefit the State.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection, HB 226  was REPORTED from Committee  with                                                            
previous fiscal  note #2 from the  Department of Natural  Resources.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 21(FIN)                                                                             
     Relating to establishing the Alaska Energy Policy Task Force.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TOM  WRIGHT,  Staff  to  Representative   John  Harris,  the  bill's                                                            
sponsor,  informed the Committee  that this  bill would establish  a                                                            
nine-member  energy policy  task force to  develop long-term  energy                                                            
plans for the  State. He continued  that the nine member  task force                                                            
would be comprised  of one member  from the Alaska Energy  Authority                                                            
Board of Directors,  the Commissioner of the Department  of Revenue,                                                            
two  persons chosen  by  the Governor,  two  persons  chosen by  the                                                            
Speaker of  the House of Representatives,  and three persons  chosen                                                            
by the Senate President,  one of whom would be appointed from a list                                                            
provided to the  Senate President by the House and  Senate Minority.                                                            
Additionally,  he noted  that task  force members  would select  the                                                            
task force's chairperson.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wright  explained  that the  task force  would  be charged  with                                                            
developing  two long-term  energy  plans: one  specifically for  the                                                            
Railbelt area  of the State and the  other being a statewide  energy                                                            
plan. Reports  for these plans, he  continued, must be submitted  to                                                            
the  Legislature   by  December  31,   2003  and  March   31,  2004,                                                            
respectfully.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Amendment  #1:  This  amendment  allows   the  Commissioner  of  the                                                            
Department  of  Revenue  to  select  a  designee  to  represent  the                                                            
Commissioner on the task force.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  B. Stevens  moved  for the  adoption  of Amendment  #1.  He                                                            
explained that  the numerous obligations of the Commissioner  of the                                                            
Department  of Revenue  might  prevent  regular attendance  at  task                                                            
force meetings; therefore,  he continued, this amendment would allow                                                            
the  Commissioner   to  appoint  a  representative   "if  and  when"                                                            
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LANDA BAILY,  Legislative Liaison  and Special Assistant,  Office of                                                            
the Commissioner,  Department  of Revenue  affirmed that, while  the                                                            
Commissioner wishes to  serve on this board, his current obligations                                                            
to the Board  of Trustees of the Alaska  Permanent Fund,  the Alaska                                                            
Pension Investment Board,  the Alaska Energy Authority, and numerous                                                            
other boards and commissions  might prohibit regular attendance. She                                                            
assured that the Department supports this amendment.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ERIC YOULD, Executive Director,  ARECA, testified via teleconference                                                            
from  Mat-Su that  ARECA,  the trade  association  for the  electric                                                            
utility  industry  in  the  State  and  whose membership   generates                                                            
approximately  90 percent of the electricity in the  State, supports                                                            
the merit of this  legislation. He commented that  the potential for                                                            
large electric energy field  projects exist; however, he noted, that                                                            
the  development of  these  projects exceeds  the  abilities of  the                                                            
various  individual   electric  entities.   He  asserted   that  the                                                            
development   of   these  projects   would   benefit   the   overall                                                            
infrastructure  of the State  and stimulate  the economy. He  stated                                                            
that this resolution  is strongly  supported, as it would  provide a                                                            
means to further these potential projects.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green asked for examples of these projects.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Yould responded  that  a  strong power  intertie  project  from                                                            
Fairbanks to Kenai or a  transmission line from Nenana to the Donlin                                                            
Creek Gold Mine  and continuing to Bethel and the  Illiamna area are                                                            
being  discussed.   He  listed  another   potential  project   as  a                                                            
transmission  line from Delta to Tok  to Glenallen to Palmer,  which                                                            
might eventually  integrate with transmission lines  from Valdez. He                                                            
expressed that,  were the natural  gas pipeline to come to  fruition                                                            
and terminate  in Valdez, the process of liquefying  the natural gas                                                            
for  export  purposes  would  generate   sufficient  waste  heat  to                                                            
generate power  that would otherwise be stranded.  He continued that                                                            
other  projects   could   include  a  Southeast   intertie   system.                                                            
Additionally,   he  noted   that  the  task   force  could   address                                                            
alternative energy projects as well.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  asked whether these alternative energy  projects are                                                            
ongoing or in the experimental stage of development.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Yould responded  that these alternate  energy projects  are both                                                            
ongoing  and experimental.  He informed  that  these projects  might                                                            
include such  things as the wind projects  that are currently  being                                                            
researched  in  the   Fairbanks  area  or  tapping  the   tremendous                                                            
hydropower  potential in  the State.  He noted  that small  projects                                                            
could  involve fuel  cell research  as  well as  a large  coal-fired                                                            
generation plant project being considered in the Healy area.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green asked  whether the  coal-fired  generation plant  is                                                            
separate from the current Healy clean-coal plant project.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Yould  responded  yes.  He  noted  that   the  power  utilities                                                            
anticipate a resolution  to the Healy clean-coal project  that would                                                            
enable  it to come  online and  feed into  the power  system in  the                                                            
near-term.  He continued that the  coal-fired generation  plant is a                                                            
separate project, and because  it is in a conceptual stage, it might                                                            
be ten years before it becomes a reality.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green ordered the bill SET ASIDE.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Note: HCR 21 is readdressed later in the meeting.]                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     HOUSE BILL NO. 248                                                                                                         
     "An Act relating to the annual salary of the chief procurement                                                             
     officer; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DAN  SPENCER,   Director,  Division   of  Administrative   Services,                                                            
Department  of  Administration,  informed  the Committee  that  this                                                            
legislation  would  change the  salary  range for  the Department's                                                             
Chief Procurement Officer  (CPO) from its current statutory Range 23                                                            
to a Range  24. He stated that the  CPO has assumed duties  formerly                                                            
conducted by the  Director of the Division General  Services, as, he                                                            
continued,  the  Director's  position  has been  reclassified  to  a                                                            
Deputy Director.  He noted that the Deputy Director,  along with the                                                            
Department's leasing  manager and contracting officer,  would report                                                            
to the CPO.  These changes, he continued,  would generate  "a slight                                                            
cost saving" for the Division.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green ordered the bill HELD in Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE BILL NO. 211                                                                                                        
     "An Act  relating to the publishing  and furnishing  of certain                                                            
     public notices regarding  regulations or rules of certain state                                                            
     agencies;    relating   to    distribution   of   the    Alaska                                                            
     Administrative   Code,  Alaska  Administrative   Register,  and                                                            
     supplements  to  the code  or register;  and  providing for  an                                                            
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG TILLERY,  Assistant Attorney  General, Environmental  Section,                                                            
Civil  Division  (Anchorage),   Department  of  Law,  testified  via                                                            
teleconference  from Anchorage and  informed the Committee  that the                                                            
intent of this  legislation is to improve the public  notice process                                                            
pertaining  to State regulatory change  notices and to reduce  costs                                                            
to the State through the  elimination of unnecessary action, the use                                                            
of the Internet  where appropriate, and the allowance  "for briefer,                                                            
more easily  understood notices" by  changing Sections 23  and 24 of                                                            
the Alaska  Administrative  Procedures  Act. He  explained that  the                                                            
briefer  notices, while  containing  pertinent  information such  as                                                            
what regulation is being  changed and how to obtain more information                                                            
regarding  the  change  is anticipated  to  reduce  the advertising                                                             
content by approximately  75 percent. He asserted that these changes                                                            
would  make  the  advertisement  more  noticeable  and  more  easily                                                            
understood, and that directing  people to a phone number or Internet                                                            
site would enable  people to acquire more detailed  information than                                                            
is currently required by  statute. He stressed that this legislation                                                            
would not prohibit  a State agency from advertising  a more detailed                                                            
notice were a situation to require it.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Tillery  mentioned  that this  concept has  been considered  for                                                            
numerous  years and  that  approximately  six years  prior,  similar                                                            
legislation  had been introduced.  He informed  that the  continuing                                                            
growth   and  availability   of  the  Internet   has  allowed   this                                                            
legislation to become appropriate.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Tillery  continued  that,   "while  limited  in  scope,  but  a                                                            
significant  departure   from  what  is  currently  in  statute"  is                                                            
language  that would allow  some agencies  to not advertise  certain                                                            
notices  in newspapers  as,  he  shared that  upon  review,  certain                                                            
notices have  been determined  to be of disinterest  to the  general                                                            
public but are rather of  a technical nature and of more interest to                                                            
individuals  who have  easy  access to  the Internet  and  typically                                                            
receive their  notices in that manner or through trade  associations                                                            
or mailing  lists.  He noted  that  the identified  regulations  are                                                            
identified in Sections 1, 2, 10, 11, 12,13,16,19,20,26, and 27.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Tillery  noted that, thirdly,  the bill would allow agencies  to                                                            
advertise notices  in one newspaper  rather than three as  currently                                                            
required  or  via  the Internet  or  through  mailings.  Lastly,  he                                                            
stated,  the legislation  would eliminate  the  requirement for  the                                                            
State to  provide copies  and updates of  the Alaska Administrative                                                             
Code to  all municipalities  or  local governments.  He stated  that                                                            
many local  governments  have indicated  that these  copies are  not                                                            
necessary and that access  to the information via the Internet would                                                            
be adequate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green  surmised  the  purpose  of the  legislation  is  to                                                            
streamline  the  State's  noticing  system  to  align  with  today's                                                            
communication environment.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Tillery agreed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MARK   DAVIS,   Director,   Division  of   Banking,   Securities   &                                                            
Corporations,  Department  of Community  and  Economic Development,                                                             
testified  via teleconference  from Anchorage  and stated that  this                                                            
bill  would  allow proposed  changes  in  regulations  for  banking,                                                            
corporations,  and securities to be  noticed in a simplified  format                                                            
in a newspaper  and/or by electronic  means. He continued  that this                                                            
would  allow cost  savings  in addition  to  an improved  method  of                                                            
notice to interested  parties, as;  he opined those individuals  are                                                            
Internet users  and are familiar with  electronic communication.  He                                                            
stated  that proxy  programs issued  through the  Division would  be                                                            
addressed by language  allowing the Division to use  whatever method                                                            
it deems necessary or reasonable.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor commented  that fiscal  note #2  from the Office  of                                                            
Management  and Budget indicates  that the  Department of  Community                                                            
and Economic  Development would save  approximately $258,000  by the                                                            
implementation  of  this  legislation  as the  result  of  newspaper                                                            
advertising  savings. He  voiced appreciation  for  the efforts  put                                                            
forth on this  legislation and noted  the lack of opposition  to the                                                            
legislation from the newspaper industry.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair  Green mentioned that  a similar bill  is advancing  in the                                                            
House of Representatives.  She commented  that newspapers  are using                                                            
the Internet to  advance their product, and she opined  that perhaps                                                            
the  newspaper  industry is  coming  "to  the realization  that  the                                                            
Internet is the thing of today."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson voiced  concern that  Internet access  is limited  in                                                            
rural  Alaska  and  therefore,   he  inquired  how  the  changes  in                                                            
newspaper notices  would affect the dissemination  of information in                                                            
those areas.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Davis  responded  that typically  those areas  do not  currently                                                            
receive  these  newspaper  notices  unless   a change  specifically                                                             
affects the area.  He noted that the three newspapers  that would be                                                            
affected  by this  legislation  would  be those  serving  Anchorage,                                                            
Fairbanks  and  Juneau,  or  occasionally   the  Alaska  Journal  of                                                            
Commerce.  He reiterated  that this  legislation  would not  prevent                                                            
notices  if  deemed  necessary  in  those  areas,  and  that,  while                                                            
Internet access might not  be available in all communities; he noted                                                            
that not all communities receive a newspaper.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson   argued  that  newspapers   are  available   in  all                                                            
communities  as they are received  via the mail. However,  he stated                                                            
that Internet access is  only available at schools or clinics, which                                                            
are  not   places  that   someone  would   ordinarily  go   to  read                                                            
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green ordered the bill HELD in Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 21(FIN)                                                                             
     Relating to establishing the Alaska Energy Policy Task Force.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This bill was again before the Committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor moved to report the bill from Committee with                                                                     
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objections, SCS CS HCR 21 (FIN) was REPORTED from                                                                
Committee with previous fiscal note #1 from the Legislative Affairs                                                             
Agency.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Lyda Green adjourned the meeting at 03:19 PM                                                                           

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