Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/25/1995 01:30 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 None COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7 Relating to mandates imposed on the states by the federal government. 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 SJR 7 RELATING TO MANDATES IMPOSED ON THE STATES 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 mandates. 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 accordingly. 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.