Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/25/1995 01:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                        January 25, 1995                                       
                           1:32 p.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Lyda Green, Vice-Chairman                                             
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7                                                 
 Relating to mandates imposed on the states by the federal                     
    WITNESS REGISTER                                                           
 Joe Ambrose                                                                   
 Chief of Staff                                                                
 Senator Taylor's Office                                                       
 State Capitol Building                                                        
 P.O. Box V                                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                         
   POSITION STATEMENT: Testified for sponsor of SJR 7                          
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-2, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 SJUD - 1/25/95                                                                
                   BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT                                  
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 1:32 p.m. and announced SENATORS GREEN, ELLIS and MILLER             
 to be present.  He stated the committee would hear SJR 7.  SENATOR            
 ADAMS arrived.                                                                
 Joe Ambrose, staff to SENATOR TAYLOR, explained to committee                  
 members that SJR 7 is identical to joint resolutions passed by six            
 states, introduced in 12 other states and sponsored in an                     
 additional 20 states.  SJR 7 is representative of what has become             
 a national movement, started in the West, to reassert the                     
 sovereignty of the people and the individual states under the Tenth           
 Amendment.  SJR 7 would send a strong, clear message to Congress              
 that Alaska is ready to claim her rights under the Tenth Amendment.           
 Those rights include the power to choose whether or not to                    
 implement mandates imposed on the states by Congress which fails to           
 recognize the intent of the Founding Fathers in limiting the powers           
 of the central government.                                                    
 Mr. Ambrose continued to say that past Alaska Legislatures have               
 protested individual mandates in numerous resolutions without                 
 result.  SJR 7 will strengthen resolve of those members of Congress           
 currently working to end the tyranny of unfunded and                          
 unconstitutional mandates.  He stated he has been working since the           
 beginning of last interim with groups all over the country for                
 passage nationwide of resolutions similar to SJR 7.  Regarding the            
 argument that it is only a resolution and does not have the force             
 of law, Mr. Ambrose quoted Senator Charles Duke of Colorado, the              
 sponsor of the first resolution of its kind to pass, to say "Our              
 Declaration of Independence had no force of law."                             
 Number 035                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS referred to lines 15 and 16 of page 1 (New York v.              
 United States) and asked for an explanation of the provisions of              
 the legal decision.                                                           
 Number 045                                                                    
 Mr. Ambrose replied he did not have that material with him but he             
 would provide Senator Adams with a copy.                                      
 Number 047                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS stated that he would like to understand that ruling             
 before passing the resolution out of committee.  SENATOR ADAMS                
 noted that he understood SJR 7 to relate to mandates imposed on the           
 states.  He questioned whether to change SJR 7 to refer                       
 specifically to unfunded mandates that the federal government                 
 imposes on the State of Alaska.  He added that when looking back at           
 cutting the budget and reviewing some of the funding processes                
 mandated to Alaska, such as the American Disabilities Act and                 
 asbestos hazards, we should be collecting some money.  He asked               
 SENATOR TAYLOR, as sponsor of SJR 7, if this vehicle could be used            
 to relate to unfunded mandates imposed on states.                             
 Number 053                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR replied he would rather use another vehicle.                   
 Number 068                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS stated SJR 7 also deals with the issue of                       
 sovereignty.  He noted he would like the State of Alaska to solve             
 its sovereignty rights issue before continuing with SJR 7 because             
 there are villages that would like this issue reviewed, i.e., who             
 has the right of what powers, whether it be judicial, taxation,               
 etc.  SENATOR ADAMS asked if the committee could hold on SJR 7                
 until the State of Alaska could solve its own sovereignty issue.              
 Number 085                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR felt it would be best to put that in a different               
 vehicle also.                                                                 
 Number 088                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS stated he would like to see the decision in the N.Y.            
 v. United States case.  SENATOR TAYLOR assured committee members              
 they would receive a copy of that decision.                                   
 Number 093                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS referred to SJR 5 and noted its similarity to SJR 7.            
 He asked why the committee was dealing with SJR 7 rather than SJR
 5 and asked if the bills contained divergent language.  SENATOR               
 ELLIS noted for the committee record that there is a resolution on            
 the same subject with a lower number, sponsored by a minority                 
 member, that is not being considered by the committee.  SENATOR               
 ELLIS read lines 6-10 on page 2 of SJR 5 to the committee and                 
 explained that Vice President Gore has a report that recommends               
 that Congress do what SJR 7 requests.  He felt SJR 7 would have               
 more impact on Congress if that language were included and asked              
 SENATOR TAYLOR to consider doing so.                                          
 Number 134                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR clarified that SJR 5 and SJR 7 are complementary but           
 not identical.  SENATOR ELLIS felt lines 6-10, page 2 of SJR 5 was            
 the only provision from SJR 5 that would benefit SJR 7.                       
 Number 145                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER felt SJR 7 includes unfunded mandates since it                 
 refers to all mandates, whether funded or unfunded, and therefore             
 is more inclusive than SJR 5.                                                 
 Number 152                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS supported the argument of SENATOR MILLER and                    
 suggested that a "Whereas" clause be added to specify unfunded                
 Number 160                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR clarified that SJR 7 encompasses both funded and               
 unfunded mandates.                                                            
 Number 162                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS suggested it be added as a friendly amendment.                  
 Number 170                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS moved that the committee include the following                  
 language as a "Whereas" clause and renumber the sections                      
  Whereas the vice-president of the United States in the                       
 "Report of the National Performance Review" has                              
 recommended that unfunded mandates imposed on the states                      
 be cut, that the Congress refrain from imposing new                           
 mandates, and that an executive order be issued to limit                      
 the use of unfunded mandates in legislative proposals and                     
 the circumstances under which federal agencies may impose                     
 new mandates;                                                                 
 SENATOR ELLIS reiterated the clause strengthens SJR 7 by pointing             
 out that Vice President Gore has a report that supports the premise           
 of SJR 7.                                                                     
 Number 190                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR opposed the language at this point in time as he               
 wanted the chance to see if it could be addressed on page 1, line             
 13.  He added it could be included as an amendment on the floor.              
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked for discussion.                                          
 Number 203                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS stated he was opposed to the passage of SJR 7 because           
 he had not seen the judicial decision on N.Y. v. United States.               
 Number 205                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR announced the first motion before the committee was            
 to adopt the amendment offered by SENATOR ELLIS.  The roll was                
 taken with the following result:  SENATORS TAYLOR, GREEN and MILLER           
 voted "Nay" and SENATORS ELLIS and ADAMS voted "Yea."  The Chairman           
 stated the motion failed.                                                     
 SENATOR MILLER moved SJR 7 out of committee with individual                   
 recommendations.  SENATOR ADAMS objected.  The roll was taken with            
 the following result:  SENATORS GREEN, MILLER and TAYLOR voted                
 "Yea" and SENATORS ELLIS and ADAMS voted "Nay."  The motion passed.           
 There being no further business before the committee, CHAIRMAN                
 TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 1:46 p.m.                                     

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