Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/10/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:35:31 PM Start
01:37:19 PM Confirmation Hearings
02:11:27 PM SB58
02:21:06 PM HB108
02:26:10 PM SB100
02:31:16 PM HB106
02:44:17 PM Confirmation Hearings
02:54:21 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
Lynne Gallant, Alaska Judicial Council
David Barton, State Commission for Human Rights
Drew Phoenix, State Commission for Human Rights
+ SB 58 DEPT OF LAW: ADVOCACY BEFORE FERC TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 108 FIDUCIARY ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 108(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 100 MUNICIPAL LIENS: AUTHORITY FOR & PRIORITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 100 Out of Committee
+= HB 106 CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS HB 106(JUD) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 10, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:35 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Alaska State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                        
     Drew Phoenix - Fairbanks                                                                                                   
     David A. Barton - Anchorage                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
        - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
     Lynn Gallant - Anchorage                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 58                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Department of Law public advocacy                                                                       
function to participate in matters that come before the Federal                                                                 
Energy Regulatory Commission."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 108(JUD)                                                                                
"An Act  adopting and relating  to the Revised  Uniform Fiduciary                                                               
Access  to  Digital  Assets  Act;  and  relating  to  a  specific                                                               
electronic communications  power that a principal  may select for                                                               
an agent under the statutory form power of attorney."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 108(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 100                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to municipal liens."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 100 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 106                                                                                                              
"An Act allowing appropriations to the civil legal services fund                                                                
from court filing fees."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SCS HB 106(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  58                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DEPT OF LAW: ADVOCACY BEFORE FERC                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/13/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/13/17       (S)       RES, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
03/20/17       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/20/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/20/17       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/22/17       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/22/17       (S)       Moved  SB 58 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/22/17       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (S)       RES RPT  2DP 4NR 1AM                                                                                   
03/23/17       (S)       DP: GIESSEL, COGHILL                                                                                   
03/23/17       (S)       NR: HUGHES, VON IMHOF, STEDMAN, MEYER                                                                  
03/23/17       (S)       AM: WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                       
04/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 108                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FIDUCIARY ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): CLAMAN                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/08/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/08/17       (H)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
03/08/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/08/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/08/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/10/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/10/17       (H)       Moved  HB 108 Out of Committee                                                                         
03/10/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/13/17       (H)       L&C RPT 7DP                                                                                            
03/13/17       (H)       DP: SULLIVAN-LEONARD, STUTES, WOOL,                                                                    
                         JOSEPHSON, BIRCH, KNOPP, KITO                                                                          
03/24/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/24/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/24/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/29/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/29/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 108(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/29/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/31/17       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 2DP 5NR                                                                             
03/31/17       (H)       DP: LEDOUX, CLAMAN                                                                                     
03/31/17       (H)       NR:   EASTMAN,   KOPP,   KREISS-TOMKINS,                                                               
                         FANSLER, REINBOLD                                                                                      
04/05/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/05/17       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 108(JUD)                                                                                 
04/06/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/06/17       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
04/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 100                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MUNICIPAL LIENS: AUTHORITY FOR & PRIORITY                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): EGAN BY REQUEST                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
03/29/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/29/17       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
04/07/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/07/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/07/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 106                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): FANSLER                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
02/06/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/17       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/15/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/15/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/15/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/20/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/20/17       (H)       Moved  HB 106 Out of Committee                                                                         
02/20/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/22/17       (H)       JUD RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
02/22/17       (H)       DP: KOPP, FANSLER, CLAMAN                                                                              
02/22/17       (H)       NR: REINBOLD                                                                                           
03/06/17       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/06/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/17       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/16/17       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/16/17       (H)       Moved  HB 106 Out of Committee                                                                         
03/16/17       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/17/17       (H)       FIN RPT 6DP 4NR                                                                                        
03/17/17       (H)       DP: KAWASAKI, ORTIZ, GUTTENBERG, GRENN,                                                                
                         SEATON, FOSTER                                                                                         
03/17/17       (H)       NR: WILSON, PRUITT, THOMPSON, TILTON                                                                   
03/24/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/24/17       (H)       VERSION: HB 106                                                                                        
03/27/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/27/17       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
04/07/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/07/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/07/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DAVID A. BARTON, Appointee                                                                                                      
Alaska State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Alaska State                                                                
Commission for Human Rights.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DREW PHOENIX, Appointee                                                                                                         
Alaska State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Alaska State                                                                
Commission for Human Rights.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNNE GALLANT, Appointee                                                                                                        
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Alaska                                                                      
Judicial Council.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ED SNIFFEN, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                          
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Regulatory Affairs & Public Advocacy (RAPA)                                                                                     
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 58 on behalf of the                                                                         
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SARA PERMAN, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided supporting information for HB 108.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DEBRA BEHR, Member                                                                                                              
Alaska Delegation                                                                                                               
Uniform Law Commission                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 108.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DENNIS EGAN                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 100                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KATHY WASSERMAN, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Municipal League                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 100.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL FALSEY, Municipal Attorney                                                                                                 
Municipality of Anchorage                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 100.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARY SCHLOSSER, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided supporting information related to                                                                
HB 106.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NIKOLE NELSON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Legal Services Corporation                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided supporting data for HB 106.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA HEMSAPH, representing himself                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of the appointment of                                                                
Drew Phoenix for a position on the State Commission for Human                                                                   
Rights.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REVEREND DR. MARTIN ELDRED, representing himself                                                                                
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of the appointment of                                                                
Drew Phoenix for a position on the State Commission for Human                                                                   
Rights.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REVEREND MICHAEL BURKE, representing himself                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of the  appointment of                                                             
Drew Phoenix  for a  position on the  State Commission  for Human                                                               
Rights.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REVEREND JULIA SEYMOUR, representing herself                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of the  appointment of                                                             
Drew Phoenix  for a  position on the  State Commission  for Human                                                               
Rights.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:35:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JOHN   COGHILL  called   the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:35  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Costello,  Kelly,  Wielechowski, and  Chair                                                               
Coghill.   Senator  Meyer   joined  the   committee  during   the                                                               
introductory remarks.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                          
                     CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                  
            Alaska State Commission for Human Rights                                                                        
                    Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  the first  order of  business would  be                                                               
confirmation  hearings of  governor  appointments  to boards  and                                                               
commissions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He asked  David Barton to  tell the committee about  his interest                                                               
in serving on the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:38:30 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  A. BARTON,  Appointee, Alaska  State Commission  for Human                                                               
Rights,  Anchorage,  Alaska, said  works  for  the Northwest  ADA                                                               
Information  Center,  specializing  in technical  assistance  and                                                               
training  for  disability  laws   including  the  Americans  with                                                               
Disabilities  Act  and  the  Fair Housing  Act.  He  brings  that                                                               
expertise  to  the  commission.  He  has  provided  training  and                                                               
technical  assistance across  the state  for employers  and state                                                               
and  local government  bodies.  His interest  in  serving on  the                                                               
commission is to  ensure that disability receives  more focus for                                                               
nondiscrimination.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked if he had attended any commission meetings.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON said no but he attended an orientation meeting.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked  his perspective of the  current human rights                                                               
statutes as they relate to the commission's work.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON  clarified that he  is not  an advocate; his  role has                                                               
been  as  a  neutral  party  to  help  both  the  person  with  a                                                               
disability and the employer understand  the law and court rulings                                                               
and come  to some sort  of resolution. That  is what makes  him a                                                               
good candidate for the commission.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:44:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  noted he is  a cancer  survivor and asked  why his                                                               
resume says his interest in  starting a marijuana business may be                                                               
a conflict of interest.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON replied he wanted full  disclosure if he did decide to                                                               
open a marijuana business.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  asked if  he is familiar  with the  resolution the                                                               
Human  Rights Commission  passed on  November 2  regarding gender                                                               
identity and sexual orientation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON said no.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY explained his question  is based on resolution that                                                               
indicates that the current  commission wants regulatory authority                                                               
to address discrimination based  on sexual orientation and gender                                                               
identity. This is despite the  fact that the current human rights                                                               
statutes do  not include that.  He read the resolution.  He asked                                                               
Mr. Barton if he understands  that the commission is charged with                                                               
carrying out the existing statutes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY  asked  if  he believes  the  commission  has  the                                                               
authority  to promulgate  and enforce  regulations that  prohibit                                                               
discrimination based  on sexual  orientation and  gender identity                                                               
even though that is not in the statutes.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON replied not if it's not in the statute at this time.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:49:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if he  received a two-page letter from                                                               
anyone  in  the  legislature  with  written  questions  regarding                                                               
sexual orientation and gender identity.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON said no.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI   asked   if  it   would   indicate   that                                                               
discrimination was occurring if one  candidate was asked a series                                                               
of  questions about  sexual orientation  and gender  identity and                                                               
another candidate was not asked those questions.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON said he'd need more details.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL said  it's hypothetical  and he  didn't know  that                                                               
he'd  push for  an answer,  "but  the even  handedness of  asking                                                               
questions of both appointees is probably the place to go."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  if  it  would  indicate  there  was                                                               
discrimination if  one candidate was  asked a detailed  series of                                                               
questions and another candidate was not asked the questions.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON replied  he would not say it is  discrimination to ask                                                               
candidates different questions.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY  said  he  started  to ask  Mr.  Barton  the  same                                                               
questions he sent Mr. Phoenix,  but his first answer indicated he                                                               
understands the role of the Human Rights Commission.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:52:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL thanked Mr. Barton for being willing to serve.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARTON thanked the committee  for the opportunity and offered                                                               
to answer additional questions as they might come up.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL stated  that the  committee would  next hear  from                                                               
Drew Phoenix, appointee to the  Alaska State Commission for Human                                                               
Rights. He asked Mr. Phoenix to proceed as he saw fit.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:53:19 PM                                                                                                                    
DREW  PHOENIX,  Appointee,  Alaska  State  Commission  for  Human                                                               
Rights, Fairbanks,  Alaska, suggested  it might  be easier  if he                                                               
responded to questions as Senator Kelly asks them.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY asked  Mr. Phoenix if he supports  the Human Rights                                                               
Commission action  when it  passed Resolution  2016-02 concerning                                                               
regulations about sexual orientation and gender identity.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PHOENIX stated  that he  does support  the resolutions.  "It                                                               
furthers  the commission's  mission of  protecting Alaskans  from                                                               
discrimination. And  it's consistent with the  developing body of                                                               
law interpreting the term 'sex.'"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  asked if the  developing body  of law is  state or                                                               
federal law.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX replied  both the federal EEOC and the  April 4, 2017                                                               
7th Circuit U.S.  Court of Appeals opinion in Hively  v. Ivy Tech                                                               
Community College that "sex" includes "sexual orientation."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY  asked  if  he  believes  that  the  Alaska  State                                                               
Commission  for  Human  Rights currently  has  the  authority  to                                                               
promulgate and  enforce regulations that  prohibit discrimination                                                               
based on sexual orientation and gender identity.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX replied:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The commission  has the  authority to  adopt procedural                                                                    
     and  substantive regulation  to define  terms found  in                                                                    
     the Alaska  Human Rights Law. So  interpreting the term                                                                    
     "sex"  to include  "sexual  orientation" is  consistent                                                                    
     with the federal  EEOC as well as the  7th Circuit U.S.                                                                    
     Court of Appeals. Given that,  I believe the commission                                                                    
     would be within its authority  to interpret the term as                                                                    
     these  two  entities have  done  so.  But as  with  any                                                                    
     administrative body, there are  limits to the authority                                                                    
     to  promulgate   regulations,  but  these   limits  are                                                                    
     generally  worked out  in the  process of  adopting the                                                                    
     regulation  such  as the  legislature's  Administrative                                                                    
     Regulation  Review Committee,  which would  examine and                                                                    
     comment on any proposed  regulations or within the core                                                                    
     system.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Without a  thorough briefing, I  would not  be prepared                                                                    
     to  say today  that the  commission does  not have  the                                                                    
     authority to  adopt a regulation interpreting  the term                                                                    
     "sex."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   KELLY  asked   if   a  school   would   be  guilty   of                                                               
discrimination  if it  prohibited a  student who  is biologically                                                               
male, but whose gender identity  is female, from using the girl's                                                               
bathroom and joining the girl's athletic team.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:57:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI called a point  of order. He said he assumes                                                               
that this  hypothetical question will  be prohibited just  as his                                                               
earlier question was deemed hypothetical and thus prohibited.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  asked  Senator  Kelly  if  he  could  narrow  his                                                               
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY replied,  "I just  want to  know if  the candidate                                                               
would think  that the Human  Rights Commission has  the authority                                                               
to claim  that discriminatory  based on  the Alaska  statutes. If                                                               
you don't want to allow that, it's fine."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said the  question is  fine, but  the hypothetical                                                               
nature is problematic.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  said Mr. Phoenix  isn't as  much a concern  as the                                                               
comments  and direction  the current  Human Rights  Commission is                                                               
taking. "If  the candidate  wants to serve  the state  of Alaska,                                                               
all right. I  don't want to put  them on any kind  of undue cross                                                               
examination. I'm more concerned about  the commission and if this                                                               
well-meaning person wants to join  the commission, God bless him.                                                               
I may not vote  for him, but I kind of want  to know what they're                                                               
going  to do  with  a commission  that is  already  a little  bit                                                               
rogue." He withdrew any further questions.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked Mr. Phoenix if  he wanted to comment  on the                                                               
Senator's point.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX asked if he was  referring to the hypothetical on the                                                               
high school student.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  mentioned the gender  identity bill  being debated                                                               
in another committee and the  controversy over bathroom use based                                                               
on  gender at  birth as  opposed to  gender identity.  He posited                                                               
that  the  issue  would  make  its  way  into  the  Human  Rights                                                               
Commission if it hasn't already.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX said  he believes there is a  lot of misunderstanding                                                               
about what it means to be transgender. He continued:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     There  is  no risk  posed  to  the public  by  allowing                                                                    
     transgender  individuals  to   use  the  bathroom  that                                                                    
     corresponds  to   their  identity.  And  there   is  no                                                                    
     evidence  of a  problem with  abuse of  gender identity                                                                    
     protections for the purpose  of accessing bathrooms. On                                                                    
     the  other hand,  study after  study suggests  that the                                                                    
     rate of  suicide among transgender  youth goes  down in                                                                    
     places where there are greater legal protections.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     But of  course, the  courts will  have to  consider the                                                                    
     evidence  and  the  current  state   of  the  law  when                                                                    
     determining   whether    illegal   discrimination   has                                                                    
     occurred.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL advised that the  committee was trying to determine                                                               
how  he would  look at  the  law and  if  he would  defer to  the                                                               
legislature for policy calls.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     And I  think both you and  Mr. Barton have got  a depth                                                                    
     of  knowledge in  your respective  arenas  and we  were                                                                    
     just  trying to  figure out  -  and I  even called  Mr.                                                                    
     Barton an  advocate and  I think I  even called  you an                                                                    
     advocate  because   when  you're  knowledgeable   in  a                                                                    
     certain  area,  certainly that  is  going  to become  a                                                                    
     focus  for  being  on  the  commission.  So  those  are                                                                    
     legitimate areas  for discussion  and I think  you just                                                                    
     nailed it saying that the  law would be your driver, if                                                                    
     I understand correctly.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX replied, "That is correct."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL thanked  Mr. Phoenix  and noted  that four  people                                                               
wanted  to testify  on his  behalf.  He advised  that the  public                                                               
testimony  would be  heard  during  the last  15  minutes of  the                                                               
meeting.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:03:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  asked Lynne  Gallant to  tell the  committee about                                                               
her interest in serving on the Alaska Judicial Council.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:03:54 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNNE  GALLANT, Appointee,  Alaska  Judicial Council,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  said  she  works  part  time  as  a  neonatal  nurse  at                                                               
Providence  Alaska  Medical  Center.  When  Governor  Walker  was                                                               
elected, she applied  for the Board of Nursing  as a professional                                                               
and the Alaska Judicial Council  as a public member. She attended                                                               
her first  meeting several weeks  ago when the  council evaluated                                                               
17 applicants for the two  Anchorage Superior Court positions. It                                                               
was  an eye  opening  and interesting  experience  and she  looks                                                               
forward to continuing that work if confirmed.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked what was  new or surprising when she attended                                                               
the meeting.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GALLANT said  she was struck by the quality  of the attorneys                                                               
and public  members on  the council and  with the  diligence with                                                               
which they reviewed and evaluated the judicial candidates.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL thanked Ms. Gallant for being willing to serve.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GALLANT  mentioned  pending   legislation  and  offered  her                                                               
perspective on  professional versus public members  that serve on                                                               
boards and commissions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY asked if Board  of Nursing members are confirmed by                                                               
the legislature.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. GALLANT replied she did not believe so.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  stated that  the names  considered today  would be                                                               
forwarded to the full legislature for consideration.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
            SB  58-DEPT OF LAW: ADVOCACY BEFORE FERC                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:11:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of SB 58.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:12:17 PM                                                                                                                    
ED   SNIFFEN,  Assistant   Attorney   General,  Civil   Division,                                                               
Regulatory Affairs  & Public Advocacy (RAPA),  Department of Law,                                                               
Anchorage,   Alaska,  introduced   SB   58  on   behalf  of   the                                                               
administration.  He reminded  the members  that public  utilities                                                               
and  pipelines   in  Alaska  are  regulated   by  the  Regulatory                                                               
Commission of Alaska  (RCA). The RCA pays for  the regulations by                                                               
assessing the utilities a regulatory  cost charge (RCC), which is                                                               
passed along to consumers through  their utility bills. To ensure                                                               
that the  public interest is  protected, the attorney  general is                                                               
allowed by  statute to  participate before the  RCA to  make sure                                                               
those rates  are just and  reasonable; DOL also receives  part of                                                               
that regulatory cost charge.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SNIFFEN said  he had a short PowerPoint to  help explain what                                                               
the regulatory cost charge is and where it comes from.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     What is the regulatory cost charge (RCC)?                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
       The RCC is a fee assessed on public utilities and                                                                        
         pipelines that are regulated by the Regulatory                                                                         
     Commission  of  Alaska  (RCA).  It  is  created  by  AS                                                                    
     42.05.254 and AS 42.06.286.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Who Pays RCCs?                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Utilities and pipelines that are  regulated by the RCA,                                                                    
     including  over  125  public  utilities  and  about  20                                                                    
     common  carrier  pipelines  with  in-state  deliveries.                                                                    
     These utilities  and pipelines may  pass the  charge on                                                                    
     to  customers that  benefit from  RCA regulation.  Each                                                                    
     year, the RCA assesses  RCCs to utilities and pipelines                                                                    
     based on the amount of  work required for each industry                                                                    
     sector.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     What does the RCC pay for?                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The  money collected  in the  RCC provides  funding for                                                                    
     the  Regulatory Commission  of Alaska  (RCA), which  is                                                                    
     responsible  for  the  economic  regulation  of  public                                                                    
     utilities  and intrastate  common carrier  pipelines in                                                                    
     Alaska, and the Regulatory  Affairs and Public Advocacy                                                                    
     (RAPA)  section  in the  Department  of  Law, which  is                                                                    
     charged  with advocating  for  the  public interest  in                                                                    
     matters related  to the  economic regulation  of public                                                                    
     utilities  and   pipelines.  It   pays  for   just  and                                                                    
     reasonable rates for utility and pipeline customers.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     How much is it?                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Total RCCs  cannot exceed 0.87 percent  of the adjusted                                                                    
     gross  revenue  (revenue  derived  from  operations  in                                                                    
     Alaska)  of  the  regulated  utilities  and  pipelines.                                                                    
     Statute  allocates that  0.87 percent  between the  RCA                                                                    
     and  RAPA.  RCCs  funding the  RCA  cannot  exceed  0.7                                                                    
     percent  and  RCCs  funding  RAPA  cannot  exceed  0.17                                                                    
     percent.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     RAPA's 2017 Budget.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     For 2017, the  statutory cap for the  Department of Law                                                                    
     was $2,374,390. The budget submitted  last year was for                                                                    
     $2,333,700,  which is  $40,690 under  the cap.  The pie                                                                    
     chart shows that DOL spent  about 7 percent of the time                                                                    
     on pipeline matters that came  before the RCA; the rest                                                                    
     of  the  time  was  spent on  utility  matters.  SB  58                                                                    
     doesn't ask to grow the size  of the pie; it would just                                                                    
     allow DOL to change the shape of the pieces.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     What would SB 58 change?                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This bill does  not change the 0.17 percent  RCC cap or                                                                    
     create  new  authority  for  the  attorney  general  to                                                                    
     participate  in  matters  before FERC.  The  bill  will                                                                    
     allow some costs incurred by  the department in matters                                                                    
     before  FERC (TAPS  pipeline tariffs)  in the  pipeline                                                                    
     RCC.  This  bill  might  increase  the  amount  of  RCC                                                                    
     allocated to  pipelines. Because the size  of the "pie"                                                                    
     is not changing, an increase  in the pipeline RCC would                                                                    
     reduce the RCC paid by utilities.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:16:52 PM                                                                                                                    
     How would SB 58 impact consumers?                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Pipelines  can pass  the RCC  on to  customers for  in-state                                                               
     shipments. This  increase would  not be  significant because                                                               
     the cost is  spread across all regulated  pipelines and each                                                               
     unit of oil or gas  shipped. For example, adding $100,000 to                                                               
     the pipeline  RCC for  the last two  quarters of  2016 would                                                               
     increase the pipeline RCC surcharge  by about 0.041 percent.                                                               
     A $10,000 billing  to a pipeline customer  would increase by                                                               
     $4.10. The $4.10 surcharge helps  ensure the $10,000 bill is                                                               
     "just and reasonable."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Why now?                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     For  over  30 years,  outside  counsel  has represented  the                                                               
     state  on FERC  pipeline matters.  To reduce  costs, DOL  is                                                               
     developing  the necessary  expertise  and  bringing more  of                                                               
     this work  in-house. In  the process  of budgeting  for this                                                               
     increased  in-house   workload  and  searching   for  budget                                                               
     efficiencies, it came  to our attention that the  RCC may be                                                               
     an appropriate funding source.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Will SB 58 impact AK LNG?                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     No.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Is there a check on RCC spending?                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Yes. RCCs to  fund RAPA cannot exceed the  0.17 percent cap.                                                               
     RAPA's budget is  submitted to the RCA for  review of RAPA's                                                               
     certified  costs in  a public  docket  where any  interested                                                               
     party can comment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:18:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER   asked  if   the  attorney   general  him/herself                                                               
participates as a party before the RCA or his or her designee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SNIFFEN replied  the  attorney  general designee,  generally                                                               
someone in the RAPA section.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO asked if the RCA has an opinion on the bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SNIFFEN replied  DOL  has  talked with  the  RCA on  several                                                               
occasions and it has not voiced opposition.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  noted  that,  as  judiciary  chair,  he  has  not                                                               
received any negative comments from the RCA.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER  informed  members   that  RCA  Commissioner  Norm                                                               
Rokeberg  testified  in  support  of   the  bill  in  a  previous                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how much  the statutory cap would need                                                               
to be increased to fully cover RAPA's budgetary needs.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SNIFFEN estimated that the 0.17  percent cap would need to be                                                               
increased to 0.23 percent.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL thanked Mr. Sniffen  and announced he would hold SB                                                               
58 in committee for further review.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
           HB 108-FIDUCIARY ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:21:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL  announced  the consideration  of  HB  108.  [CSHB                                                               
108(JUD) was before the committee.]                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:21:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA  PERMAN, Staff,  Representative  Matt  Claman, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  stated  that this  legislation  is  a companion  to                                                               
Senator  Hughes's  bill  regarding fiduciary  access  to  digital                                                               
assets.  Both sponsors  believe this  topic is  important because                                                               
Alaska has  a large  and rapidly  growing senior  population. The                                                               
House  Judiciary Committee  passed  a  committee substitute  (CS)                                                               
that adopts  the language in  SB 16. She deferred  explanation to                                                               
Ms. Behr.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:22:35 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBRA BEHR,  Member, Alaska  Delegation, Uniform  Law Commission,                                                               
Juneau,  Alaska confirmed  that  CSHB  108(JUD) incorporates  the                                                               
material in  SB 16. The  only major  difference was in  Section 1                                                               
that  deals with  the Alaska  statutory power  of attorney  form.                                                               
Someone who  uses the statutory form  found on page 3,  lines 26-                                                               
28, can affirm  that they want their fiduciary to  have access to                                                               
their  electronic  communications.  She provided  an  example  to                                                               
demonstrate the  importance of an  individual either  signing the                                                               
online  tool  or  giving  explicit   authority  to  access  their                                                               
electronic communications.  This is  a statutory form  that needs                                                               
to be changed, she said                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL found no questions and solicited a motion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:25:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO moved  to report CSHB 108(JUD),  version R, from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  found  no  objection   and  CSHB  108(JUD)  was                                                               
reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        SB 100-MUNICIPAL LIENS: AUTHORITY FOR & PRIORITY                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:26:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of SB 100.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   DENNIS  EGAN,   sponsor   of  SB   100,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, stated that the bill has no opposition.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:27:04 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHY  WASSERMAN, Executive  Director,  Alaska Municipal  League,                                                               
Juneau,  Alaska, described  SB 100  as a  housekeeping bill  that                                                               
will fix  an unintended consequence  and allow  municipalities to                                                               
again file  leans. They were  prohibited following the  Cutler v.                                                               
Kodiak Island Borough decision. She  noted the letters of support                                                               
from Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Kenai, Sitka, and Kodiak.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:28:16 PM                                                                                                                    
BILL  FALSEY,  Municipal  Attorney,  Municipality  of  Anchorage,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, advised that  the Anchorage Assembly last year                                                               
identified  a  legislative  priority  to  change  state  law  and                                                               
restore  the ability  of municipalities  to  protect citizens  by                                                               
recording liens. SB 100 would  accomplish that goal. It addresses                                                               
an  unintended consequence  of a  lawsuit concerning  disgruntled                                                               
citizens who  filed liens  against the  personal property  of the                                                               
Anchorage  mayor  and  various  assembly members.  He  said  that                                                               
municipal liens were swept into  the same net when that nefarious                                                               
practice was  eliminated. He suggested  members look at  Title 34                                                               
and the variety  of liens the legislature allows  for citizens to                                                               
secure their debts.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:30:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL found no questions and solicited a motion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:30:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  moved  to  report  SB  100,  version  J,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  announced  that  without  objection,  SB  100  is                                                               
reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                HB 106-CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:31:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced the  consideration of  HB 106  and noted                                                               
that this  was the second  hearing. He asked the  sponsor's staff                                                               
if she had anything to add before he proposed an amendment.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:31:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY SCHLOSSER, Staff, Representative  Zach Fansler, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, pointed out that 48  other states fund organizations                                                               
like  the  Alaska Legal  Services  Corporation  and 33  of  those                                                               
states use court fees to do so.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  observed that  this is a  funding source  that has                                                               
been  debated for  many years  and he  struggles with  designated                                                               
financing. He advised that he  would offer an amendment to reduce                                                               
the appropriation from 25 percent to five percent.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:33:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked what  percentage other states  use to                                                               
fund their civil legal services organizations.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHOLSSER said it varies depending  on the size of the state.                                                               
She suggested Ms. Nelson might have additional information.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:34:48 PM                                                                                                                    
NIKOLE   NELSON,  Executive   Director,  Alaska   Legal  Services                                                               
Corporation, Anchorage,  Alaska, agreed  with Ms.  Scholsser that                                                               
the  funding is  based  on  the population  of  the state.  Large                                                               
states  such  as  Texas  provide   $8-9  million  in  a  straight                                                               
appropriation  plus  $14-15  million   in  a  fee  appropriation.                                                               
Wyoming,  which is  comparable to  Alaska,  appropriates $1.3  in                                                               
filing fees per year.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI   asked    how   much   Alaska   currently                                                               
appropriates.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NELSON  replied  the appropriation  for  ALSC  is  currently                                                               
$450,000.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI observed  that  HB 106  would bring  Alaska                                                               
close to Wyoming.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL mentioned the amendment he intended to offer.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:36:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   COSTELLO   noted   that   ALSC   is   prohibited   from                                                               
participating in  certain cases,  one of which  is cases  where a                                                               
private attorney would take the  case on a contingency fee basis.                                                               
She asked, "How do you find  out whether or not an attorney would                                                               
take such a case?"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. NELSON  said there are two  means. First, ALSC does  not take                                                               
personal injury  cases because  private attorneys  typically take                                                               
those types  of cases  on a contingency  fee basis.  Second, ALSC                                                               
does not  take cases  it determines a  private attorney  might be                                                               
willing to  take. In  that instance ALSC  requires the  person to                                                               
get three refusals from the private bar.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  asked if some  lawyers do  pro bono work  on these                                                               
cases.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON  said yes;  over 100  cases per year  are taken  on by                                                               
private attorneys through ALSC's  pro bono program. She estimated                                                               
that  private attorneys  volunteered over  $0.5 million  hours in                                                               
donated hours last year.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked if private attorneys contribute financially.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. NELSON said yes through a private giving campaign.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL advised  that the bill would provide  just short of                                                               
$500,000  and  his amendment  would  reduce  it to  $100,000.  He                                                               
solicited a motion.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:39:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO moved Amendment 1, labeled 30-LS0397\A.1.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE              BY SENATOR COGHILL                                                                      
          TO:  HB 106                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "25"                                                                                                       
          Insert "five"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  objected to explain  that the  appropriation would                                                               
be reduced from 25 percent to  5 percent. He shared that he would                                                               
have difficulty moving the bill without the amendment.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI objected to  Amendment 1, asserting that the                                                               
ALSC  is funded  at  a much  lower  rate than  it  should be.  He                                                               
reviewed some of  the documentation in the  bill packet including                                                               
the  May  2000  Alaska  Supreme Court  Access  to  Civil  Justice                                                               
Taskforce  report  that  recommended  funding ALSC  at  the  1982                                                               
level,  at a  minimum. If  that  were the  case, their  inflation                                                               
adjusted budget would be over  $10 million. Five percent does not                                                               
go far enough, he said.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL said  he didn't  blame him  for objecting,  but he                                                               
could not support  this funding source when  state agency budgets                                                               
are being cut so drastically.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO  mentioned  the prohibition  against  dedicated                                                               
funding and  observed that even  without the amendment,  there is                                                               
no  guarantee that  25 percent  [of court  filing fees]  would be                                                               
appropriated to the ALSC fund.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL agreed  that the  legislature has  the ability  to                                                               
designate but is not allowed to dedicate funds.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He asked Senator Wielechowski if he maintained his objection.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:42:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  noted his minority standpoint  and withdrew                                                               
his objection.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked the chair if he withdrew his objection.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said yes and solicited a motion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  moved  to  report HB  106,  as  amended,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that without  objection SCS  HB 106(JUD)                                                               
is reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                          
                     CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                  
2:44:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL opened public testimony  on the appointment of Drew                                                               
Phoenix to the State Commission for Human Rights.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:44:21 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSHUA   HEMSAPH,   representing  himself,   Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                               
testified in  support of the  appointment of Drew Phoenix  to the                                                               
State  Commission for  Human Rights.  He  said he  has known  Mr.                                                               
Phoenix  for five  years during  which he  served in  a range  of                                                               
positions.  As an  ordained minister  he has  always demonstrated                                                               
the meaning  of compassion  and standing  for justice.  These are                                                               
two traits that are vital to the commission.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hemsaph  said he came to  know Mr. Phoenix when  he served as                                                               
the  first paid  executive director  for Identity  Inc., Alaska's                                                               
statewide  LGBTQ education  service  organization. Together  they                                                               
worked with the  Anchorage Chamber of Commerce  and the Anchorage                                                               
Economic Development  Corporation to encourage local  business to                                                               
adopt  inclusive  workplace  practices.   In  that  capacity  Mr.                                                               
Phoenix became a go-to resource  for workplaces looking to update                                                               
their policies.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He asserted  that Mr. Phoenix  is highly qualified  and committed                                                               
to the values  and organizing principles of  the State Commission                                                               
on  Human  Rights which  is  why  he  was  appalled to  hear  the                                                               
questions  that were  directed  toward Mr.  Phoenix  at the  last                                                               
meeting. "The commission is an  apolitical body designed to fact-                                                               
find and set  policy that protects both  employees and employers.                                                               
Any  line of  questioning that  puts politics  or other  subjects                                                               
ahead  of the  work of  the  commission is  disrespectful to  the                                                               
appointees, the  commission, and the  people of Alaska  whom this                                                               
body governs and serves." He  urged the committee to move forward                                                               
with the confirmation of Mr. Phoenix.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  said   the  questioning  was  not   meant  to  be                                                               
disrespectful. "Things do get political in the political arena."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:47:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REVEREND DR.  MARTIN ELDRED,  representing himself,  Eagle River,                                                               
testified in  support of the  appointment of Drew Phoenix  to the                                                               
State  Commission for  Human Rights.  He  said he  has known  Mr.                                                               
Phoenix  since 2009  and  has worked  with him  on  a variety  of                                                               
projects supporting equal rights and  education to break down the                                                               
barriers  and  misconceptions  particularly  of  the  transgender                                                               
community. Mr.  Phoenix is an intelligent,  articulate individual                                                               
who is passionate and compassionate  for those who are struggling                                                               
with what  they see as  changes in the  world. "Drew does  a good                                                               
job of educating  in a gentle way.  He is a good friend,  he is a                                                               
colleague,  and I  think  he  could only  help  our  state as  we                                                               
continue to seek to  be the best we can as  a state and guarantee                                                               
the individual rights for all people in our state."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:48:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REVEREND MICHAEL BURKE,  representing himself, Anchorage, Alaska,                                                               
testified in  support of the  appointment of Drew Phoenix  to the                                                               
State Commission  for Human  Rights. He said  he worked  with Mr.                                                               
Phoenix  over  a  period  of seven  years  on  several  different                                                               
community issues.  They disagreed  on several things  - including                                                               
some  of the  items  discussed earlier  today,  but three  things                                                               
stand  out. First,  he  is not  an ideology;  he  works to  bring                                                               
people together  and identify common  ground. Second,  he listens                                                               
to understand and  he makes careful distinctions. Third,  he is a                                                               
calm and reasonable voice.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:51:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REVEREND JULIA SEYMOUR,  representing herself, Anchorage, Alaska,                                                               
testified in  support of the  appointment of Drew Phoenix  to the                                                               
State Commission  for Human  Rights. She said  she has  known Mr.                                                               
Phoenix since  2011 and worked with  him on a variety  of issues.                                                               
She said as  an Alaskan woman, the mother of  two small children,                                                               
the wife  of a lieutenant  colonel in  the Army, and  a Christian                                                               
minister, Mr. Phoenix  is one of the  most compassionate Alaskans                                                               
she knows. He  has the ability to listen patiently  to people who                                                               
disagree with  him and respond  with grace when he's  under fire.                                                               
"As was in  evidence in last week's questioning  and in testimony                                                               
today."  She said  Alaska could  not be  better served.  "We need                                                               
people from a wide body of  backgrounds and skillsets to be aware                                                               
of what  the rights of  people are, how  to pay attention  to the                                                               
competition,  how to  encourage  the legislature  to continue  to                                                               
help us  to be the Great  Land and frontier that  is appealing to                                                               
all  kinds of  people that  we know  we are.  Drew is  really the                                                               
candidate for that position."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  stated that in  accordance with AS  39.05.080, the                                                               
Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee  reviewed the  following and                                                               
recommends the appointments  be forwarded to a  joint session for                                                               
consideration: Alaska  Police Standards Council -  Bryce Johnson;                                                               
Board of  Governors of  the Alaska Bar  - William  Granger; State                                                               
Commission for Human  Rights - David A. Barton  and Drew Phoenix;                                                               
and Alaska Judicial Council - Lynn Gallant.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He   reminded  members   that  signing   the  reports   regarding                                                               
appointments  to  boards  and  commissions  in  no  way  reflects                                                               
individual members'  approval or  disapproval of  the appointees,                                                               
and  that  the  nominations  are merely  forwarded  to  the  full                                                               
legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:54:21 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Coghill  adjourned the Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 2:54 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Gallant - Alaska Judicial Council.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
Barton - State Commission for Human Rights.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 58 - Summary Statement.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 58
SB 58 - Transmittal Letter.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 58
HB 108 - Letters of Support.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 108
HB 108 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 108
HB 108 - Supporting Document - SASI Sheet.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 108
HB 108 - Summary of Changes (ver. J to ver. R).pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 108
HB 108 - Supporting Document - ULC Fact Sheet.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 108
HB 108 - Supporting Document - ULC Summary.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 108
HB 108 - Supporting Document - ULC Why Adopt.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 108
SB 100 - Letter of Support - Kenai.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
SB 100 - Letter of Support - Municipality of Anchorage #2.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
SB 100 - Letter of Support - FNSB.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
HB 106 - Amendment A.1.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
SB 58 - Presentation for Senate Judiciary.pdf SJUD 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 58