Legislature(1999 - 2000)
03/23/1999 10:50 AM RLS
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RULES COMMITTEE March 23, 1999 10:50 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Tim Kelly, Chair Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chair Senator Mike Miller Senator Drue Pearce Senator Johnny Ellis MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 48 "An Act relating to health insurance provided by and provisions relating to the Comprehensive Health Insurance Association." -MOVED ALL VERSIONS OF SB 48 OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 76(RLS) am "An Act relating to an exemption from and deferral of payment on municipal taxes on deteriorated property; and providing for an effective date." -MOVED CSHB 76(RLS)am OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE BILL NO. 77 "An Act relating to civil actions by municipalities and certain public corporations and prohibiting certain civil actions by them against firearms or ammunition manufacturers and dealers." -MOVED ALL VERSIONS OF SB 77 OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 80(STA) "An Act relating to a state employment preference for certain members of the Alaska National Guard." -MOVED SCSHB 80(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE BILL NO. 99 "An Act to clarify the meaning of 'decennial census of the United States' in Article VI, Constitution of the State of Alaska, and to prevent discrimination in the redistricting of the house of representatives and the senate." -MOVED ALL VERSIONS OF SB 99 OUT OF COMMITTEE PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 48 - See Hess minutes dated 2/24/99. See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/16/99. HB 76 - No previous Senate action. SB 77 - See Judiciary Committee minutes dated 3/12/99 and 3/15/99. HB 80 - No previous Senate action. SB 99 - See Judiciary Committee minutes dated 3-17-99. WITNESS REGISTER Doug Salik, Legislative Aide Senate Community & Regional Affairs Committee Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions about CSHB 76(RLS) Chris Nelson, Staff Joint Committee on Military Affairs Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SCSHB 80(RLS) ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 99-4, SIDE A CHAIRMAN KELLY called the Senate Rules Committee meeting to order at 10:50 a.m. All members were present. SENATOR LEMAN moved to calendar SB 48-STATE HEALTH INSURANCE. There being no objection, the motion carried. CHAIRMAN KELLY announced the Senate Rules Committee would take public testimony on CSHB 76(RLS) am - MUNICIPAL TAXES ON DETERIORATED PROPERTY today. He explained the measure makes a technical correction to a bill that was passed by the Legislature last year. Hopefully, the passage of CSHB 76(RLS)am will allow the McKay building project to go forward, as well as others. SENATOR ELLIS asked if the technical change could have been made in the Revisor's bill. CHAIRMAN KELLY clarified the Anchorage municipal attorney asked that last year's legislation be reworded, and the bill also addresses a concern of the Kodiak Island Borough assessor. He stated he is unaware of any substantial opposition to this bill. SENATOR LEMAN asked if CSHB 76(RLS) am is identical to the final version before the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. DOUG SALIK, legislative staff to the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee, explained the House amended the bill on page 2, line 5, by adding the phrase, "on the same portion of the property." The owners of the McKay property are subdividing the property and asked for clarification. Representatives Croft, Halcro and Davies proposed the amendment which is the only change from the Senate version of the bill. MR. SALIK added that change was reviewed by two state assessors and the developer's attorney. SENATOR ELLIS asked why the state assessor was reticent to support the bill. MR. SALIK said Pat Carlson's concerns have been addressed. SENATOR ELLIS asked if anyone has any objections at this point. MR. SALIK replied not that he is aware of. SENATOR LEMAN moved CSHB 76(RLS)am for calendaring. There being no objection, the motion carried. SENATOR LEMAN moved to calendar SB 77-LIABILITY RELATING TO FIREARMS. SENATOR ELLIS objected to ask what the Alaska Municipal League's (AML) position is on this measure. CHAIRMAN KELLY stated if the bill is approved for calendaring, he would provide the AML's position before the bill is scheduled for a floor vote. The motion to calendar SB 77 carried with Senators Leman, Miller, Pearce, and Kelly voting "yea," and Senator Ellis voting "nay." CHAIRMAN KELLY announced a proposed Senate Rules Committee substitute had been prepared for HB 80. CHRIS NELSON, Staff Director to the Joint Committee on Military Bases, discussed the two changes made to the proposed committee substitute. The first change increases, from three to five, the number of preference points for hiring at the request of request of the Administration through the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. That increase will place National Guard members on an equal status with veterans who have served during periods of conflict, and because the Department of Administration expressed concern that creating too many categories in the point system could complicate the hiring process. A ten point preference already exists for disabled veterans and prisoners of war. MR. NELSON informed committee members he has not received any objections to this change from any of the veterans groups and that overall support has been bipartisan. CHAIRMAN KELLY stated that change is also favored by Pat Pourchot, Legislative Director in the Office of the Governor. MR. NELSON explained the second revision provides an employment preference, consistent with the collective bargaining agreements, in the event of layoffs. This revision grants the same employment preference to National Guard members as that currently provided to disabled veterans, prisoners of war and veterans, in the event that layoffs occur. Public employee bargaining unit representatives were concerned about seniority. Some of their suggestions were adopted and those representatives have agreed to the changes made in the bill. The actual language change begins on line 18, and reads, "If all job qualifications are equal, a member of the National Guard shall be given preference over a person who is not a veteran, prisoner of war, or member of the National Guard." CHAIRMAN KELLY clarified that language draws a middle line between changes made by a House committee and what the bargaining units wanted to see. MR. NELSON explained that placing hiring preferences in statute raises the question of whether the prerogatives of the bargaining unit are being preempted. The addition of this language was considered to be a middle ground because it requires that all factors be considered equally. Number 181 SENATOR ELLIS questioned whether veterans and prisoners of war have preference over members of the National Guard. MR. NELSON said that is how he reads the bill. The groups are listed in the bill in priority and veterans and prisoners of war have a 10 point preference. SENATOR ELLIS asked if the bill creates a hierarchy of preferences with prisoners of war at the top of the list. MR. NELSON said that is correct. CHAIRMAN KELLY noted the available pool of veterans and prisoners of war in the job market is rapidly diminishing. SENATOR ELLIS asked if the bill in any way interferes with the existing hierarchy of military people for the purpose of hiring preferences. MR. NELSON said it does not. SENATOR LEMAN said he reads the bill to change the hierarchy a little bit because it provides a preference equal to the five points added for the passing grade of a veteran. MR. NELSON agreed it changes the hierarchy on the hiring but the bill makes two changes. It gives a competitive advantage during the hiring process and recognizes that in the event of a layoff, they also have a preference. CHAIRMAN KELLY stated that because the bargaining unit is concerned that wholesale layoffs will occur, it wanted to place the seniority issue in statute. He felt that would interfere with the collective bargaining process because the seniority issue is included in most collective bargaining agreements. SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt SCSHB 80(RLS). There being no objection, the motion carried. SENATOR LEMAN moved to calendar HB 80-EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE FOR NAT'L GUARD. There being no objection, the motion carried. SENATOR LEMAN moved to calendar SB 99-REDISTRICTING BOARD/CENSUS FIGURES. CHAIRMAN KELLY noted there was objection. The motion carried with Senators Miller, Pearce, Leman, and Kelly voting "yea," and Senator Ellis voting "nay." There being no further business before the committee, CHAIRMAN KELLY adjourned the meeting.