Legislature(2019 - 2020)Anch LIO Lg Conf Rm

08/21/2019 11:00 AM LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

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Audio Topic
11:00:31 AM Start
12:42:26 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Teleconference Listen Only --
Amendment to Wells Fargo Lease
Change to Leg. Council Moving & Travel Policy
Addition of a Leg. Council ID Badge Policy
Update on Egan Bust
Executive Session
Education Litigation Update
Transfer Funds to Redistricting Planning Cmte.
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
                        LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
                          AUGUST 21, 2019                                                                                     
                             11:00 AM                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
   MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                            
   Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                
   Representative Louise Stutes, Vice Chair                                                                                   
   Senator John Coghill                                                                                                       
   Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                      
   Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                      
   Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                  
   Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                
   Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                              
   Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                           
   Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                  
   Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
   MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                             
   Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                       
   Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                       
   Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
   OTHER MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
   AGENDA                                                                                                                     
   APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                                                                        
   COMMITTEE BUSINESS                                                                                                         
   EXECUTIVE SESSION                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
   SPEAKER REGISTER                                                                                                           
   Jessica Geary, Executive Director, Legislative Affairs Agency (LAA)                                                        
   Megan Wallace, Director, Legal Services, LAA                                                                               
   Steve Daigle, Chief of Security, LAA                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     11:00:31 AM                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
I.   CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS  called the Legislative Council meeting  to order at                                                       
     11:00am  in  the Anchorage  Legislative  Information Office  (LIO)                                                       
     Large  Conference  Room.   Present  at  the  call  were:  Senators                                                       
     Coghill,  Giessel, Hoffman,  Stevens,  von Imhof;  Representatives                                                       
     Edgmon, Johnson, Johnston, Kopp, Stutes, Thompson.                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     Senators   Costello,  Stedman,  and  Representative   Foster  were                                                       
     absent.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
     11 members present.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     A.    JUNE 13, 2019                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     11:01:51 AM                                                                                                            
     VICE-CHAIR   STUTES  moved  and   asked  unanimous   consent  that                                                       
     Legislative  Council approve the  minutes dated June 13,  2019, as                                                       
     presented.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS asked  if there  were corrections  or additions  to                                                       
     those minutes. Seeing none, the minutes are approved.                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
III. COMMITTEE BUSINESS                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     11:02:55 AM                                                                                                            
     CHAIR STEVENS requested a brief at ease.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
     11:03:17 AM                                                                                                            
     CHAIR STEVENS returned from brief at ease.                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     A.    AMENDMENT TO WELLS FARGO LEASE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     11:03:20 AM                                                                                                            
     VICE-CHAIR  STUTES  moved  that Legislative  Council  approve  the                                                       
     amendment to the Wells Fargo Lease.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR   STEVENS   objected   for  purpose   of   discussion.   The                                                       
     Legislature  has been  contacted by Ompa  Incorporated, a  private                                                       
     investment  company, and  was asked  to sell  the small  satellite                                                       
     parking lot  that was included with our purchase  of this building                                                       
     and  is located  a couple  blocks away. The  Legislature does  not                                                       
     use  the lot, but wanted to  ensure there were no problems  in the                                                       
     lease or  city ordinances that would prevent the  sale and learned                                                       
     there  were none. LAA staff contacted  Wells Fargo to see  if they                                                       
     were willing  to amend their lease to remove that  parking lot and                                                       
     they  agreed.  Chair Stevens  asked Ms.  Geary  to please  provide                                                       
     additional information and answer any questions.                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     JESSICA  GEARY, Executive  Director,  Legislative Affairs  Agency,                                                       
     responded  that  according  to the  lease,  this lot  is  overflow                                                       
     parking  for Wells Fargo  employees when  the main parking  lot is                                                       
     full.  The satellite parking lot  has not been used, so  when Ompa                                                       
     Inc.  expressed interest, LAA  researched it  and found a  sale is                                                       
     possible.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     Currently,   the  lot  is   assessed  with  the   Municipality  of                                                       
     Anchorage  for slightly  over $337,000.  Generally, an  assessment                                                       
     does not  equal an appraisal, so the Agency is  procuring a market                                                       
     analysis  and appraisal  to determine the  lot's value,  then will                                                       
     bring to  Council the sale terms and determine whether  to sell it                                                       
     to  Ompa Inc. The  first step is approving  this amendment  to the                                                       
     Wells  Fargo lease.  Ms. Geary  said she  is happy  to answer  any                                                       
     questions.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said when  in Anchorage, he  checks to see  how the                                                       
     lot  is being used and  always finds it  empty. He asked  if there                                                       
     were any comments or questions about how to proceed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  COGHILL  asked  Ms. Geary  if  the code  requirement  for                                                       
     parking  for the  Anchorage  Legislative Office  Building will  be                                                       
     satisfied without this satellite lot?                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY  replied yes, the Agency contacted the  Municipality and                                                       
     verified  there  are  no restrictions  and  that there  are  ample                                                       
     parking spaces in the existing main lot.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  VON IMHOF confirmed that  the assessed value  is $337,000                                                       
     and  LAA is  getting an  appraisal or valuation.  She asked  about                                                       
     timing  and if  a sale  could  potentially occur  between now  and                                                       
     Christmas? Where would the proceeds go? To Legislative Council?                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY replied  the timing may  be a  little longer than  that                                                       
     because one of the renovation scopes of this building was to re-                                                         
     do  the parking  lot, so  the thought  was to  keep the  satellite                                                       
     parking   lot  for  use  until  that  project   is  complete,  and                                                       
     currently  it  is in  the  RFP  phase. Regarding  where  potential                                                       
     proceeds  may go depends on the Legislatureit  could  be put as an                                                       
     item  in the budget for  receipt authority to the  Legislature, or                                                       
     into the general fund bank account.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  HOFFMAN  asked  would  the  Legislature  proceed  with  a                                                       
     public  notice  stating it  would  be available  for  sale to  the                                                       
     highest bidder.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said that  is a very  good question. He  understood                                                       
     the  party who expressed interest  may own the adjacent  property.                                                       
     However,  does the Legislature offer it to the  person interested,                                                       
     or  open it  up to the  public and  let everyone  bid on it,  then                                                       
    sell to the highest bidder. He asked Ms. Geary for comment.                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said there is a  restriction on the sale and  it cannot                                                       
     go  to a business that would  be in direct competition  with Wells                                                       
     Fargo. So,  when it changes hand from the Legislature  that is the                                                       
     stipulation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR HOFFMAN said so that would be another bank.                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY replied that is correct.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR HOFFMAN  said so the Legislature could put  it up for sale                                                       
     with the stipulation that no other bank can bid on it.                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said that  is correct and  that would be  a Legislative                                                       
     Council  decision. Once  the appraised value  is known,  she could                                                       
     bring it back  before the Council for information and discussion.                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON added  that would  also include any  bank                                                       
     or investment  firm because Wells Fargo has an  investment side of                                                       
     their business too.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     MS.   GEARY  said   the  Legislature   would  explore  the   exact                                                       
     exclusions when we reach that point.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  HOFFMAN  said  he did  not  want  the Legislature  to  be                                                       
     perceived as doing an inside deal.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  said he  is  exactly right.  The  principal is  to                                                       
     ensure the  Legislature receives the maximum amount  of funds from                                                       
     any sale,  but fairly. An appraisal will identify  its worth, then                                                       
     a  decision  needs to  be  made about  how  to actually  sell  it                                                        
     whether to  open it up or discuss further with  Ompa. Council must                                                       
     ensure  it is done fairly and  everyone has an opportunity  to bid                                                       
     on it.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR VON  IMHOF said she is trying to determine  the purpose of                                                       
     this amendment.  Ms. Geary mentioned earlier that  the Legislature                                                       
     is  using  this  parking  lot  for  staging  vehicles  during  the                                                       
     renovation,  but the  lease states,  "the lessor  intends to  sell                                                       
     the  satellite parking  lot.   She asked  if this  lease is  being                                                       
     removed  to prevent our paying  for it as we negotiate  new terms,                                                       
     and  why is  an amendment  needed if  the plan  is to  potentially                                                       
     sell  it? She  said she worries  this amendment  is an extra  step                                                       
     and  could open  it up, especially  when it  says that each  party                                                       
     represents  that the other  has no dealings  with any  real estate                                                       
     broker.  If  the  Legislature   is  going  to  park  things  there                                                       
     temporarily, we should pay for it.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS  asked Megan Wallace, who worked  on this amendment,                                                       
     to offer comment.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     MEGAN  WALLACE,  Director,  Legal  Services,  Legislative  Affairs                                                       
     Agency,  said the reason the  amendment to the lease  is necessary                                                       
     is  the Legislature's  lease with  Wells Fargo;  as owners of  the                                                       
     building,  we have contracted  with Wells  Fargo to allow  them to                                                       
     utilize  the satellite  parking lot.  So if  we sell that  parking                                                       
     lot,  we no longer can provide  that to Wells Fargo to  use. So we                                                       
     need  to amend  the contract  to remove language  with respect  to                                                       
     the  satellite  parking  lot  before  we  can  move  forward  with                                                       
     selling that lot.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS said so this is just the first step.                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  WALLACE  replied,   yes,  the  first  step  to  separate  the                                                       
     utilization   of  the  parking   lot  by  Wells  Fargo   from  the                                                       
     Legislature's ties to the parking lot.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  VON  IMHOF  asked if  someone  slips  and falls  in  that                                                       
     parking  lot, who is  responsible? After  this amendment  is done,                                                       
     who  will  own  and be  responsible  for  that parking  lot-  i.e.                                                       
     managing, plowing, salting, slips and falls, etc.?                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  WALLACE said after  this amendment  is done, the  Legislature                                                       
     will  be the sole  owner and land owner  of the satellite  parking                                                       
     lot.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  VON  IMHOF asked  if  the Legislature  will  lease it  to                                                       
     whomever?  So while  awaiting an  appraisal or  the conclusion  of                                                       
     the  renovation, what will  be the use  of that parking  lot until                                                       
     it is sold?                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     MS. WALLACE replied that is a better question for Ms. Geary.                                                             
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY  responded that it is the Legislature's  parking lot, so                                                       
     it   would   be  overflow   parking   for  our   employees   while                                                       
     construction happens in the main parking lot.                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS asked when that construction may end.                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said that  construction has not  yet begun, so  it will                                                       
     not  likely  be accomplished  this season.  The  funding has  been                                                       
    approved, but the competitive bid process is still ongoing.                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  asked the  exact location  of the  satellite                                                       
     parking lot.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY   replied  that  it  is  directly  across   the  street                                                       
    accessible through the CHARR parking lota very short walk.                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE KOPP asked how many spaces are in that lot.                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY  said she believed there are 74 spaces,  but can confirm                                                       
     back.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP confirmed there has been just  one person who                                                       
     has contacted us about buying it.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY said that is correct.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP asked  if there  is an  advantage to  leasing                                                       
     versus selling it.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY  said  that  is  certainly  possible  to  explore.  The                                                       
     Legislature  was approached last  year with that question  and the                                                       
     primary  concern  was  liability.  She  said  the  individual  who                                                       
     reached  out manages  a trust that  owns the adjacent  properties,                                                       
     so  they are looking  to expand their  existing property.  She did                                                       
     not  imagine they would be  interested in leasing, but  that could                                                       
     be explored.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  if the  Legislature currently  has                                                       
     liability for the parking lot.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said,  yes,  it is  the Legislature's  parking lot  and                                                       
     liability,  and per the lease terms,  Wells Fargo is able  to park                                                       
     on it.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON followed up  that changing the  lease has                                                       
     nothing to do  with liability, it is clear that it is still ours.                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY replied that is correct.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  said this  is  the first  step  in correcting  the                                                       
     agreement  with Wells Fargothere  are  lots of steps to go  to get                                                       
     an appraisal,  decide how to sell it, so Council  will be involved                                                       
     every  step of the way.  But this is the  first one that  needs to                                                       
     happen  so we  can begin  the  process. Any  further questions  or                                                       
     comments?                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  asked about  the  requirement to  provide                                                       
     parking   and  is  that  a   separate  parking  lot   or  separate                                                       
     restriction,  or is  it  just a  blanket statement  that says  the                                                       
     Legislature will provide parking.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said it is a  blanket statement in the lease  that says                                                       
     we  will provide parking and  a certain number of  parking spaces.                                                       
     This amendment  just removes the ability to park  in the satellite                                                       
     lot.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  clarified  that is  an  amendment to  the                                                       
     lease,  not  a  deed  restriction.  Is there  a  deed  restriction                                                       
     saying  that  the Legislature  cannot sell  it  to anyone  besides                                                       
     those in competition?                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY  said it was a requirement in the terms  of the purchase                                                       
     from  Wells Fargo  when  we bought  the building  and the  parking                                                       
     lot.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON said that  if there is a  deed restriction                                                       
     on the  entire parking area and an appraisal is  done, it would be                                                       
     best to  get the agreement with Wells Fargo taken  care of and the                                                       
     contract  with them amended, because that can reduce  the value of                                                       
     the  property. If that  can be lifted before  a sale, it  is worth                                                       
     looking into.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY replied  that  she agrees  and once  this amendment  is                                                       
     approved  then we  can explore  further into  the purchase,  sale,                                                       
     and  exclusion  clause  detail  and bring  that  information  back                                                       
     before Council.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS  asked if there were further questions  or comments.                                                       
     He said  this will be a  long process. He said that,  oddly, while                                                       
     he  was involved  in the  purchase of  this building,  he was  not                                                       
     aware of  the satellite lot for some time,  so encouraged everyone                                                       
     to stop by that location.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     There  is a motion on  the table to  approve the amendment  to the                                                       
     Wells  Fargo lease. Is there  further discussion? Seeing  none, he                                                       
     requested a roll call vote.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     A roll call vote was taken.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     YEAS:  Senators  Coghill, Giessel,  Hoffman,  Stevens, von  Imhof;                                                       
     Representatives   Edgmon,   Johnson,   Johnston,   Kopp,   Stutes,                                                       
     Thompson.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     NAYS: None                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     The motion passed 11-0.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
  B.    CHANGE TO THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL MOVING & TRAVEL POLICY                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     11:21:28 AM                                                                                                            
     VICE-CHAIR  STUTES  moved  that Legislative  Council  approve  the                                                       
   amendment to the Legislative Council Moving & Travel Policy.                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS objected  for purpose of  discussion and  asked Ms.                                                       
     Geary to please discuss the reasoning for this matter.                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY  said she  was  approached earlier  this  year after  a                                                       
     recent  change to tax  code. As Council  is aware, staff  who come                                                       
     to  Juneau for session do  not receive per diem.  Previously, they                                                       
     could  write off a significant  amount of those expenses  on their                                                       
     personal  tax return, but  due to the Tax  Cut and Jobs  Act, that                                                       
     is  no longer  an option. She  did hear  from several staff  after                                                       
     preparing  their taxes  this  past year,  they owed  significantly                                                       
     more.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     She  was asked to  look into possibilities  for paying  staff some                                                       
     sort  of a stipend  or housing allowance  and how the  Legislature                                                       
     could  make it  non-taxable to  staff. She  did some research  and                                                       
     consulted  with a CPA  firm and now  has a method. This  amendment                                                       
     to  the Moving  and Travel  Policy  will allow  for the  Presiding                                                       
     Officers  to set  a stipend amount  that does  not bind them  from                                                       
     year  to  year and  can  be decided  on  a Legislature  or  annual                                                       
     basis.  She said she  envisioned it being  added to the  Presiding                                                       
     Officer  Travel  Guidelines  approved  at the  beginning  of  each                                                       
     Legislature,  but  that is  completely at  the  discretion of  the                                                       
     Presiding  Officers. She  said in  whole, there  is not a  change,                                                       
     but  now it allows for  this to happen  and she is glad  to answer                                                       
     any questions.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  said  this  would  be handled  separately  by  the                                                       
     Speaker  and the President, it does  not have to be the  same, but                                                       
     they would make that decision.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY  said technically they could both be  different amounts,                                                       
     but  that she  saw it  being  more of  a collaborative  discussion                                                       
     about treating staff in both bodies the same.                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  COGHILL asked  respectfully why  Legislative Council  did                                                       
     not  come up with a  policy and left  it to the discretion  of the                                                       
     Presiding Officers.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS replied Council  certainly could, if  members chose                                                       
     to  pursue that,  but left  that responsibility  to the  Presiding                                                       
     Officers instead.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  COGHILL said  so based  on the discretion,  there may  or                                                       
     may not  be tax liability, because if it is  overly generous, then                                                       
     there  would be a tax bracket  question based on the value  of the                                                       
   stipend. The Presiding Officers must consider that, correct?                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said  each  individual staff  will have  their own  tax                                                       
     basis  which will  depend on several  different circumstances,  so                                                       
     there  will be  a form  for  them to  complete and  submit to  the                                                       
     Accounting Office to take care of that.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
     Your greater  point, whether or not the Presiding  Officer have to                                                       
     factor  in those considerations, is  a valid point. The  reason it                                                       
     was  not set as a flat amount  in policy is because  it constrains                                                       
     the Agency  to follow this set amount, and we  cannot put a finite                                                       
     budget  amount on  it since  we do  not know how  many staff  will                                                       
     claim  lodging allowance  or what the  lodging allowance  will be.                                                       
     This  made it more  flexible and opened  it up for discussion.  In                                                       
     policy, we  could establish a cap to not exceed  a certain amount.                                                       
     These are all excellent questions that are open for discussion.                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  COGHILL said he  recalled the Legislature  amended ranges                                                       
     and travel  a few years ago,  partly due to the cost  of moving in                                                       
     and out of the Capital. Was travel to and from changed recently?                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     MS.   GEARY  responded  that  prior   to  2008,  staff   were  not                                                       
     reimbursed  the  cost of  travelling to  Juneau  for the  session.                                                       
     That  was changed  in 2008, and  in 2009 it  was amended  again so                                                       
     staff could bring their vehicles to Juneau.                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  COGHILL asked if  we did a  range adjustment  during that                                                       
     time.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said it  was her  understanding that particular  policy                                                       
     has been more budget driven than anything else.                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  VON IMHOF said it would  be interesting to know  if there                                                       
     are other  per diem amounts paid elsewhere, particularly  with the                                                       
     administration,    whether   it   be   commissioners   or   deputy                                                       
     commissioners  or Health and  Social Services employees,  whomever                                                       
     that  travel in and around the  state. Is per diem paid  to people                                                       
     for   hotel,  meal,  rental  car,   etc.  on  the   executive  and                                                       
     administrative  level? If so, what  are those amounts and  does it                                                       
     make sense  to do something within a close range  of those for the                                                       
     Legislature?  She supports putting  some type of dollar  figure in                                                       
     this  document, even  if it is  a narrow range  and said  that can                                                       
     help  budget.  There is  a  finite number  of  staff  that can  be                                                       
     calculated  for ninety days. It is fair to put in  a number so the                                                       
     Speaker and  President are not on the spot each  year. What is the                                                       
     per  diem  being  paid   now  in  other  branches  of  government,                                                       
     including the judiciary?                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said she can  certainly put together that  information.                                                       
     She  said the  legislature is unique  in how  it treats its  staff                                                       
     and  that   they  do  not  always  know  the   duration  of  their                                                       
     assignment.  The  executive branch  for  example  received a  long                                                       
     term allowance  of thirty-three dollars per day  with many caveats                                                       
     that  dictate the  amount they  are paid,  whether it is  taxable,                                                       
     and  why they are paid.  She can certainly provide  information on                                                       
     those different scenarios.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP said that  a summary of other  State employee                                                       
     benefits  in this area would  be helpful. Council would  also have                                                       
     to  keep in mind  that the Executive  branch travel policy  always                                                       
     presumes  staff is  being deployed  out from  where they live,  so                                                       
     necessarily   they  will  pay   considerably  more.   Whereas  the                                                       
     Legislature  hire twice yearly,  just for the purpose  of avoiding                                                       
     having  to pay travel  and per  diem. He said  frankly, it  is the                                                       
     most unfriendly  employee policy he has ever seen  and as a strong                                                       
     advocate  of  employee  benefits, he  is  always amazed,  but  the                                                       
     Legislature  has  great employees  and  there  are other  benefits                                                       
     with the job.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     He  said  he is  pleased that  Council  is going  this  way for  a                                                       
     couple reasons;  he knows from his time being a  staff person that                                                       
     this  affects  employees   about  $4,000  take  home.  This  is  a                                                       
     significant  cash  outlay because  of the  tax  increase to  them                                                        
     thousands  of  dollars  more they  are  paying. Taking  this  very                                                       
     seriously  about what we can do to recognize that  staff are being                                                       
     rehired  with Juneau as  their home base,  when really it  is not?                                                       
     but  we rehire  staff  to save  a lot  of  money. We  ought to  do                                                       
     something.  It  does not  have to  be the  same  as the  executive                                                       
     branch,  because  necessarily their  travel  policy presumes  they                                                       
     are  away from home.  Any stipend at  all would be appreciated  by                                                       
     staff.  He  would  not  advocate  for a  large  amount,  but  even                                                       
     twenty-five  dollars per day is significant and  could help offset                                                       
     their rent.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     Whatever  the number, he  supports the idea of  a hard cap  to not                                                       
     exceed,   which  also   relieves  pressure   from  the   Presiding                                                       
     Officers.  It sends  a message  to Legislative  employees that  we                                                       
     recognize  that it was hard before, it got harder  now, and we are                                                       
     doing something tangible to show we appreciate their service.                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said  the  comments that  both Representative  Kopp                                                       
     and  Senator von Imhof  made are very  appropriate on  finding out                                                       
     what others  are doing and having a dollar figure  to know what we                                                       
     will  be budgeting. In  addition, Senator  von Imhof suggested  we                                                       
     work  with  NCSL or  CSG  and learn  how other  states  compensate                                                       
     their legislative staff.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  GIESSEL said it  was her staff  who approached  Ms. Geary                                                       
     and   researched  how  best   to  provide  this  stipend   without                                                       
     substantially   increasing  the  tax  liability   for  legislative                                                       
     employees.  What was  envisioned  was an  amount not  to exceed  a                                                       
     certain  amount per month.  The suggestion  that we had  initially                                                       
     made  was  $600 per  month,  but  there would  be  a cap  and  the                                                       
     employee  would have to produce their housing receipt,  so that if                                                       
     they  were staying at a friend's  house at a reduced rate  of $200                                                       
     per month  they would not receive the $600. That  would be the cap                                                       
     on the  amount, but it would otherwise be lower  than that if they                                                       
     were  not   paying  that  much.  She  said  that   is  where  this                                                       
     originated  and she appreciated  Ms. Geary who directed  her staff                                                       
     to  tax  attorneys  who looked  into  this.  Perhaps it  could  be                                                       
     refined  a bit more, but she  did not want the  refinement process                                                       
     to carry  on too long because she would like this  to be available                                                       
     for staff starting in January.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     She  and the  Speaker, in  these last  special sessions,  actually                                                       
     provided  stipend  for essential  staffleadership   staff and  key                                                       
     committee  staff  including  their transportation  to  Juneau  and                                                       
     back  to their home. We have  been endeavoring to really  help out                                                       
     legislative   staff    who   are   quite   challenged   with   the                                                       
     unpredictable special sessions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  said  everyone   has  offered  excellent  comments                                                       
     regarding  finding out what others have been doing,  identifying a                                                       
     dollar  figure, and  a not  to exceed figure.  He suggested,  this                                                       
     needs  a little more thought and  it might be appropriate  to have                                                       
     a  motion  to table  it  until our  next  meeting  if members  are                                                       
     comfortable  with that. As  Senator Giessel  said, we do  not want                                                       
     to wait  too long so it can  be in place by January.  He asked the                                                       
     pleasure of the Council.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR   VON  IMHOF  moved  to  table  this  item   just  to  get                                                       
     information  from NCSL,  CSG,  and potentially  other branches  of                                                       
     government to offer ideas and refine the not to exceed amount.                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said  we have  a motion  on the  table that is  not                                                       
     debatable.  Is there any objection to the motion  to table? Seeing                                                       
     none,  this  issue  will be  tabled  until  the next  meeting.  He                                                       
     thanked everyone for the excellent discussion.                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     C.    ADDITION OF A LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL ID BADGE POLICY                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said he does not  want to take action on  this item                                                       
     at this  time, but it is  here for discussion to determine  how to                                                       
     proceed on  this new policy. He asked Ms. Geary  to please explain                                                       
     the reasons  for recommendations on the ID badge  and the Chief of                                                       
     Security, Steve Daigle, is also on line to discuss this issue.                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said that Legislative  Council put together  a Security                                                       
     Subcommittee  earlier  this year  and discussed  various  security                                                       
     measures  to help  make the  Capitol complex  more secure. One  of                                                       
     the  suggestions   put  forward  was  to  require  staff  to  wear                                                       
     identification  badges,  now  a  common practice  in  most  public                                                       
     buildings.  The subcommittee  proposed a lanyard  with an  ID card                                                       
     clipped  to it, and perhaps  the key card  clipped to the  back of                                                       
     that.  We reviewed various prototypes  to identify which  might be                                                       
     best.  Aesthetics  aside,  this is  really  an issue  of  Security                                                       
     being  able to  easily identify people  who do  not belong  in the                                                       
     building,  which is a challenge in a public  building where people                                                       
     come  and go  all the  time. Our  Chief of  Security thought  this                                                       
     would be very helpful for his team.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     There  were some evolutions  of who should  be required to  wear a                                                       
     lanyard  and whether it is limited  to just staff. Members  of the                                                       
     media  are already required  to wear a  Press Pass, so  we widened                                                       
     the  scope to include  visitors, contractors,  etc. Right  now the                                                       
     scope is  large and could be refined. She said  initially, she did                                                       
     not include  badges for Legislators since the notion  was everyone                                                       
     knows  them,  then  it  was  suggested  that  perhaps  Legislators                                                       
     should  wear them also. Another  suggestion was to  have lobbyists                                                       
     wear badges.  There is a lot still to discuss and  this is putting                                                       
     a  rough draft  before  you. Mr.  Daigle,  would you  like to  add                                                       
     anything?                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     STEVE  DAIGLE,  Chief  of Security,  Legislative  Affairs  Agency,                                                       
     said  [AUDIO  PICKED  UP MID  SENTENCE]  ?we  can bundle  them  to                                                       
     together,  but that would  be a nice feature.  He did not  know if                                                       
     we  have that  capability.  Lobbyist IDs  would be  good to  have,                                                       
     they  do not have  access to the  building now,  so that is  not a                                                       
     problem.  The  other issue  would  be if  someone  lost an  access                                                       
     card,  whoever found it would  immediately know that  this belongs                                                       
     to  the Capitol they would have  access. The card could  always be                                                       
     deactivated.  And then  the visitors,  we get  about two or  three                                                       
     groups of  school kids coming in daily and there  may be twenty or                                                       
     thirty  in the  group,  so he  would put  a visitor  badge on  the                                                       
     escort so there are not so many cards lost as souvenirs.                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
     He said  this is a great idea.  He likes to know who is  coming in                                                       
     and a  lot of people do not  put their photos on the  intranet and                                                       
     if  he  lets a  staffer  into a  door,  he must  run  down to  the                                                       
     computer,  pull them up on the intranet, and see  if they actually                                                       
     belong  to that  office.  With an  ID badge,  that  would be  much                                                       
     easier. Again,  he supports this and thinks it is  a good idea. He                                                       
     does not  know how labor intensive it would be.  He would like the                                                       
    ID and key card in one, but was not sure if we can do that.                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     MS. GEARY  responded, yes, we could do that, however  the issue is                                                       
     it  is quite expensive  to print ID  badges with key  card access.                                                       
     It is  approximately four dollars per badge, so  with our turnover                                                       
     it could be a significant cost.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     MR.  DAIGLE continued  that he still  supports the badge  proposal                                                       
     and said it will also help staff identify each other.                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS asked Ms. Geary  to please pass around  the samples                                                       
     and asked where they come from.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     MS.  GEARY said  these  samples were  made by  our Media  Services                                                       
     team  and the  lanyards samples  are a few  different styles  that                                                       
     were  loaned to  us by a  local print  shopsome  break away,  some                                                       
     unclip,  etc. If  the decision is  made to  require staff  to wear                                                       
     these lanyards, she proposed a tasteful navy blue lanyard.                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS  said Council appointed a Security  Subcommittee and                                                       
     this  was a suggestion  they brought  forth for consideration.  He                                                       
     said  there  will  not be  action  on  this now,  but  appreciated                                                       
     members thoughts and will consider this for the future.                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  COGHILL said  he thought it  is a  good idea, but  agrees                                                       
     the front  Security desk would be busier. When crowds  come in, it                                                       
     could put  additional work on the Security team.  It would be nice                                                       
     to know  who is in and out  of the building. There  was discussion                                                       
     about  lobbyists probably more  than anyone, because they  tend to                                                       
     be  in the building  more and  nobody really  knows who they  are.                                                       
     Keeping  the access key and  ID badge separate is  smart. However,                                                       
     for for me, it is one more thing to lose.                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  said he  thought for  a  variety of  reasons                                                       
     this  is  a  good  policy.  He  appreciated  Mr.  Daigle  and  our                                                       
     Security  Subcommittee bringing this  forward. There is  no excuse                                                       
     for not  knowing names anymoreknowing  the names  of people in the                                                       
     building  is important.  While the  ID may  be a  hassle, he  said                                                       
     Security may  have to put some sort of a turnstile  in up front so                                                       
     there  is a  break  to the  pace when  walking  in where  Security                                                       
     would  see each  person and they  would come  in. If someone  does                                                       
     not have  a badge, Security would wave them over  and get them set                                                       
     up.  It would be more  labor intensive at  the front door,  but we                                                       
     live  in a day  and age  where we have  to adapt. The  legislature                                                       
     has  been  pretty  lax   and  has  been  fortunate.  The  Security                                                       
     Subcommittee  prompting us to be  more responsive to  the security                                                       
     of  the building, if it is  done right, will not  inhibit visitors                                                       
     from  feeling welcomethey   get  their welcome  visitor badge  and                                                       
     off  they go. It really  is just at the  front door and  he thinks                                                       
     it is needed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  said   there  has  always  been  a  concern  about                                                       
     security  in the building,  whether there  is enough or  too much.                                                       
     Many  legislators in the past  have discussed how important  it is                                                       
     that  this is the people's building  and that they are  not denied                                                       
     access.  This is a fairly simple  thing to pass out  these badges.                                                       
     Any  other comments or  thoughts? He said  he appreciated  all the                                                       
     input and Council will consider this at a future date.                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     D.    UPDATE ON GOVERNOR EGAN BUST                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said there  will be no  action on this  item today,                                                       
     but  asked Senator Coghill  to please provide  an update  on where                                                       
     we are in this process.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR COGHILL  said he spoke with Roy Peratrovich  on August 20,                                                       
     2019,  who apologized  and said between  his physical ability  and                                                       
     acquiring  photos,  it has  not gone  as  fast as  he would  like.                                                       
     Senator  Coghill put him  in touch with  the University  of Alaska                                                       
     archives  to provide some photos, specifically a  side profile and                                                       
     back  profile photo of the  Governor. Mr. Peratrovich  assured him                                                       
     that  it could be  done by the  first of the  year. This  could be                                                       
     one  of  his  last sculptures  as  he  is beginning  to  feel  the                                                       
     effects  of his malady.  Senator Coghill encouraged  patience, but                                                       
     is open to discussion.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said  that a  long time has  passed since  Governor                                                       
     Egan  was in office, so  we can be patient  for a few  more months                                                       
     to  ensure  this  is  done right  and  is  glad  he is  doing  the                                                       
     sculpture.  He  asked  if  there were  any  comments  and  thanked                                                       
     Senator  Coghill for representing us  on this and moving  ahead so                                                       
     smartly.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
IV. EXECUTIVE SESSION                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     A.    EDUCATION LITIGATION UPDATE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     B.    TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO THE REDISTRICTING PLANNING COMMITTEE                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     11:49:22 AM                                                                                                            
     VICE-CHAIR   STUTES  moved  and   asked  unanimous   consent  that                                                       
     Legislative  Council go into executive session  under Uniform Rule                                                       
     22(B)(1),  discussion  of  matters,  the  immediate  knowledge  of                                                       
     which  would adversely  affect the finances  of a government  unit                                                       
     and  22(B)(3),  discussion  of  a  matter  that may,  by  law,  be                                                       
     required  to  be  confidential.   She  asked  that  the  following                                                       
     individuals  remain in the room  or on-line; Jessica  Geary, Megan                                                       
     Wallace,  Alpheus  Bullard,  Howard Trickey  and  any  legislative                                                       
     staff   working  for   Council  members.   We  also  welcome   any                                                       
     Legislators  who are not on  Legislative Council to remain  in the                                                       
     room or on-line.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  asked  if  there  was  objection  to  the  motion.                                                       
     Hearing none, Council will go into Executive Session.                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     11:50:18 AM                                                                                                            
     Council went into Executive Session.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     12:36:25 PM                                                                                                            
     Council came out of Executive Session.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     VICE-CHAIR  STUTES  moved   and  asked  that  Legislative  Council                                                       
     authorize  the expenditure of funds, not to exceed  $250,000, upon                                                       
     request  of and for the  Redistricting Planning Committee  to make                                                       
     necessary  arrangements for the Redistricting Board  in accordance                                                       
     with AS 15.10.300.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  objected  for  purpose  of  discussion  and  asked                                                       
     Senator   Giessel  to  briefly  explain  why  funds   need  to  be                                                       
     transferred to the Redistricting Planning Committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     SENATOR  GIESSEL explained that the statute  Representative Stutes                                                       
     cited  has Section  E which  calls out  the work  of the  Planning                                                       
     Committeenot   the Redistricting Board,  the Board itself  is five                                                       
     people  who are  appointed next  year who  do the  actual work  of                                                       
     drawing   district  lines.   The  Planning   Committee  does   the                                                       
     logistics   work  that   puts  in  place   an  office   where  the                                                       
     Redistricting  Board can work,  provides them with  desks, chairs,                                                       
     tables, computers, printersthey need a large printer for maps.                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     They  will need to  immediately get to  work since they  have only                                                       
     thirty days  after getting the data. They also need  to have legal                                                       
     representation  in  case there  was  litigation  related to  their                                                       
     adopted  plan. All of  this logistics work  must be done  ahead of                                                       
     time.  The Planning Committee  is five  members: two appointed  by                                                       
     the Governor;  one by the Senate President; one by  the Speaker of                                                       
     the House; and one by the Chief Justice of the Court System.                                                             
                                                                                                                              
     The funding  for this committee   work was inadvertently  left out                                                       
     of  the FY20 budget. There  was a small amount  provided, $50,000,                                                       
     which  was  appropriated  to  the Governor's  Office  for  capital                                                       
     expenses,  but  typically  this  Planning Committee  has  a  first                                                       
     appropriation  of about $350,000. We are asking  for only $250,000                                                       
     and  believe that would  be ample and  do not expect  the Planning                                                       
     Committee  to even use all those  funds. It is my intent,  and the                                                       
     Speaker can  also assert, that we will request in  the FY21 budget                                                       
     a  restoration of  any funds  that this committee  might use  from                                                       
     Legislative  Council's appropriation  so that Legislative  Council                                                       
     is kept whole. With that, I will take any questions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS  asked if there were any questions.  Seeing none, he                                                       
     said  he  thought  everyone  understands  the issue  here  and  he                                                       
     appreciates  this  being brought  up.  The Planning  Committee  is                                                       
     extremely   important.  Seeing  no  discussion,  he   removed  his                                                       
     objection and requested a roll call vote.                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     A roll call vote was taken.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     YEAS:    Senators   Coghill,   Giessel,   Stevens,    von   Imhof;                                                       
     Representatives   Edgmon,   Johnson,   Johnston,   Kopp,   Stutes,                                                       
     Thompson.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     NAYS: None                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     The motion passed 10-0.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS  reminded  everyone that  there  is an  Open  House                                                       
     today  in the LIO from 4:00-6:00pm.  He said this is  a functional                                                       
     building  that has  worked out  quite well  and encouraged  anyone                                                       
     listening to come and participate.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     VICE-CHAIR  STUTES shared  that today  is Chair Stevens'  birthday                                                       
     and wished him a very happy birthday.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR STEVENS thanked Representative Stutes.                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
V.  ADJOURN                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     CHAIR  STEVENS said  if there  is nothing further  to come  before                                                       
     the Council, we are adjourned.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     12:42:26 PM                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
8.21.19 Leg. Council Meeting Packet.pdf JLEC 8/21/2019 11:00:00 AM
8.21.19 Leg. Council Meeting Packet