Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/23/1999 10:50 AM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                                                                                                                  
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                                                                   
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                                                                 
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.                                                                                                    

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