Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/27/1993 04:20 PM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
..TO MEET AT CALL OF THE CHAIR
SB 99
<BILL POSTPONED>
HCR 20
<BILL POSTPONED>
txt
                     SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                    
                         April 27, 1993                                        
                           4:20 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator George Jacko, Chairman                                                
 Senator Steve Rieger, Vice Chairman                                           
 Senator Rick Halford                                                          
 Senator Suzanne Little                                                        
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Fred Zharoff                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 81(FIN) am                                              
 "An Act relating to the longevity bonus program."                             
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 254(JUD) am(ct rule fld)                                
 "An Act relating to open meetings of governmental bodies."                    
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 148                                                            
 "An Act exempting the University of Alaska from the                           
 administrative adjudication provisions of the Administrative                  
 Procedure Act; and providing for an effective date."                          
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 HB  81 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 HB 254 - See Judiciary minutes dated 4/21/93 & 4/22/93.                       
                                                                               
 HB 148 - See HESS minutes dated 4/16/93.  See State Affairs                   
          minutes dated 4/21/93.  See Resources minutes dated                  
          4/21/93.                                                             
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Commissioner Nancy Usera                                                      
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110200                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0200                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information in support of                      
                      HB 81                                                    
                                                                               
 Chris Christensen, Legal Counsel                                              
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K St.                                                                     
 Anchorage, AK 99501-2084                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information in support of                      
                      HB 254                                                   
                                                                               
 Caren Robinson                                                                
 Alaka League of Women Voters                                                  
 P.O. Box 33702                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99803                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition to HB 254                      
                                                                               
 John McKay                                                                    
 Alaska Newspaper Association                                                  
 Anchorage, AK                                                                 
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 254                                    
                                                                               
 Kent Swisher                                                                  
 Alaska Municipal League                                                       
 217 Second St., Suite 200                                                     
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 254                                    
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 93-6, SIDE A                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 The Senate Rules Committee was called to order by Chairman                    
 Jacko at 4:20 p.m.                                                            
 CHAIRMAN JACKO opened the public hearing on  CSHB 81(FIN) am                  
 (PHASE OUT LONGEVITY BONUS).  He directed attention to a draft                
 SCS CSHB 81(RLS).                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 012                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved that SCS CSHB 81(RLS) be adopted for                     
 discussion purposes.  SENATOR LITTLE objected, stating that                   
 she believes doing away with the longevity bonus program at                   
 this time is an impractical move and she doesn't see any                      
 advantages to the legislation.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 035                                                                    
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA, Department of Administration, said there                  
 is an advantage to the private annuity proposal because it                    
 provides an incentive for people to invest their dividend,                    
 inasmuch as the department believes that it could be a tax                    
 advantage treatment.  The initial ruling from the IRS is that                 
 because they would not have constructive receipt of that                      
 check, they could direct it into an IRA or into a privately                   
 selected annuity account and, therefore, not have to pay tax                  
 on it.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 080                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD directed attention to page 2, line 26, and the                
 figure of $225.  It was agreed by the committee that the                      
 amount was a drafting error and should be changed to $250.                    
                                                                               
 Senator Halford moved that on page 2, line 26, delete "$225"                  
 and insert "$250."  Hearing no objection, the motion carried.                 
                                                                               
 It was also noted that the draft SCS still contained the House                
 language of a two-year phase out at $150 for the first year                   
 and $100 for the second year rather than the Governor's                       
 language of a three-year phase out at $200, $150, $100.                       
                                                                               
 Senator Halford moved that Section 2 of SCS CSHB 81(RLS) be                   
 replaced with Section 1 contained in CSSB 58(FIN).    Hearing                 
 no objection, the motion carried.                                             
                                                                               
 Commissioner Usera pointed out that some renumbering would be                 
 required in  other sections of the bill because an extra year                 
 has been added.  It was agreed that those were technical                      
 changes that could be made by the drafter.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 155                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved that SCS CSHB 81(RLS), as amended, be                    
 adopted.  SENATOR LITTLE objected.  The roll was taken with                   
 the following result:  Senators Halford, Rieger and Jacko                     
 voted "Yea," and Senator Little voted "Nay."  The Chair stated                
 the motion carried.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 188                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved that SCS CSHB 81(RLS) be passed out of                   
 committee with individual recommendations.  SENATOR LITTLE                    
 objected.  The roll was taken with the following result:                      
 Senators Halford, Riger and Jacko voted "Yea," and Senator                    
 Little voted "Nay."  The Chair stated the motion carried.                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved and asked unanimous consent that SCS CSHB
 81(RLS) be approved for calendaring at the Chair's discretion.                
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
 Number 215                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN JACKO opened the public hearing on  CSHB 254(JUD)                    
 am(ct rl fld)  (OPEN MEETING ACT) and directed attention to a                 
 draft SCS CSHB 254 (RLS).                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD moved that SCS CSHB 254(RLS) be adopted for                   
 discussion purposes.  SENATOR LITTLE objected.                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN JACKO requested that Mr. Christensen outline the                     
 differences in the Senate and the House versions of the bill.                 
                                                                               
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, Legal Counsel, Judicial Branch, explained                  
 that at the present time, the Open Meeting Act does not cover                 
 the Judicial Branch.  Inadvertently, the Judicial Branch was                  
 added to the list of covered entities in the Senate Judiciary                 
 Committee.  An amendment was submitted by Senator Taylor,                     
 which is incorporated into the Rules SCS, to amend the                        
 definition of "public entity" to provide that it does not                     
 include the Judicial Branch.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 240                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE removed her objection to the adoption of SCS                   
 CSHB 254(RLS).  Hearing no further objection, the Chair stated                
 SCS CSHB 254(RLS) was adopted.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 245                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN JACKO clarified that except for the one change to                    
 amend the definition of "public entity", the Rules SCS was                    
 essentially the Senate Judiciary version of the bill.                         
                                                                               
 Number 255                                                                    
                                                                               
 CAREN ROBINSON, representing the Alaska League of Women                       
 Voters, voiced their strong opposition to CSHB 254(JUD).  The                 
 League believes it is an unnecessarily broad and dangerous                    
 attempt to  clarify the current Alaska Open Meeting Act.  The                 
 League urges the legislature to work with them during the                     
 interim to generate citizen involvements through a positive                   
 process and to design a measure that protects the public                      
 interest while meeting the legitimate concerns of the public                  
 officials.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 290                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOHN MCKAY, representing the Alaska Newspaper Association,                    
 said the House version of the legislation really only dealt                   
 with one thing, and that was the question of what is a                        
 meeting.  The question came about because a judge in Fairbanks                
 said that two people talking to each other would constitute                   
 a meeting.  That decision is being appealed to the State                      
 Supreme Court, and Mr. McKay suggested that it is possible                    
 that before the next legislative session there will be an                     
 answer from the Supreme Court that may resolve that question.                 
 He also suggested that the legislature might work with the                    
 League or with a task force of any group of people during the                 
 interim.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Mr. McKay said the newspaper association agrees that it is                    
 fair to say that the law should be clarified.  Further, they                  
 agree that two people on a governing body, except in unusual                  
 circumstances, should be able to talk to each other and that                  
 it not be construed as a meeting under the Act.  They would                   
 prefer that it be three or more people, however, several                      
 people have proposed a majority of a quorum and they believe                  
 that would be an acceptable compromise.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 366                                                                    
                                                                               
 KENT SWISHER, representing the Alaska Municipal League, stated                
 the legislation introduced by Senator Taylor is exactly and                   
 precisely what the League has been seeking, and neither of the                
 two House bills do that.                                                      
                                                                               
 Mr. Swisher said the League prefers a quorum, but if there                    
 were a desire on the part of the legislature to move the                      
 quorum standard to some lesser level, then they would suggest                 
 that there be a division in terms of the size of the governing                
 body.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked if it was the League's intention that                    
 action could be taken in executive session once the item to                   
 be discussed in that executive session was announced.  KENT                   
 SWISHER acknowledged that it was.  He said they have to be                    
 able to tell the lawyer what they want.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 420                                                                    
                                                                               
 Discussion then turned to the language in paragraphs 5 & 6 on                 
 page 3 of SCS CSHB 254(RLS) which relates to subjects that                    
 may be considered in an executive session.  It was suggested                  
 that the language was expanding it beyond the original intent                 
 and that it was not needed.                                                   
                                                                               
 TAPE 93-6, SIDE B                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 038                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD moved that on page 3, lines, 2 - 4, delete                    
 paragraphs 5 & 6; and on page 2, line 20, after the words                     
 "executive session" add "except to give direction to an                       
 attorney or labor negotiator."                                                
                                                                               
 Number 085                                                                    
                                                                               
 The committee next discussed the language on page 2, lines 4                  
 & 5, and the difference between "shall" and "may" on materials                
 that are to be considered at a meeting that is being                          
 teleconferenced.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE moved the following amendment on page 2, lines                 
 4 & 5: "Materials to be considered at the meeting shall be                    
 made available at teleconference locations unless not                         
 reasonably practical. "  SENATOR JACKO objected.  The roll was                
 taken with the following result:  Senators Little and Rieger                  
 voted "Yea" and Senator Jacko and Halford voted "Nay."  The                   
 Chair stated the motion failed.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 250                                                                    
                                                                               
 The committee discussed the bracketed language on page 2,                     
 lines 5 - 8, which provides that the public may know the vote                 
 of each person entitled to vote.  Concern was expressed that                  
 removal of the language would allow secret votes.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD moved that on page 2, lines 5 - 8, the                        
 bracketed material be reinserted.  Hearing no objection, the                  
 motion carried.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 340                                                                    
                                                                               
 Discussion then turned to the definition of "meeting" on page                 
 5, lines 8 - 10.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved that page 5, lines 8 - 10,  insert "a                    
 majority of a quorum of."  SENATOR JACKO objected.  The roll                  
 was taken with the following result:  Senators Little and                     
 Rieger voted "Yea" and Senators Jacko and Halford voted "Nay."                
 The Chair stated the motion failed.                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE moved that on page 5, line 8, delete the word                  
 "prearranged."  SENATOR JACKO objected.  The roll was taken                   
 with the following result:  Senators Little and Rieger voted                  
 "Yea" and Senators Jacko and Halford voted "Nay."  The Chair                  
 stated the motion failed.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 The Chair asked for the pleasure of the committee.                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD moved that SCS CSHB 254(RLS) be passed out of                 
 committee with individual recommendations and that it be                      
 approved for calendaring at the Chair's discretion.  SENATOR                  
 LITTLE objected.  The roll was taken with the following                       
 result:  Senators Rieger, Halford, and Jacko voted "Yea" and                  
 Senator Little voted "Nay."  The Chair stated the motion                      
 carried.                                                                      
 Number 435                                                                    
 The final order of business to come before the committee was                  
  HB 148  (EXEMPT U OF AK FROM APA PROCEDURES).                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved and asked unanimous consent that HB 148                  
 be approved for calendaring at the Chair's discretion.                        
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the committee,                 
 the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.                                        
                                                                               

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