Legislature(2001 - 2002)
05/10/2002 09:50 AM RLS
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE May 10, 2002 9:50 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Randy Phillips, Chair Senator Gene Therriault Senator Johnny Ellis MEMBERS ABSENT Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair Senator Rick Halford COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 252 "An Act renaming the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council as the Alaska Workforce Investment Board and relating to its membership; repealing the termination date of the state training and employment program; relating to employment and training activities; and providing for an effective date." RESCINDED PREVIOUS ACTION TO ADOPT A SENATE RULES COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE AND APPROVED FOR CALENDARING CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 56(FIN) "An Act relating to minimum wages; and providing for an effective date." HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 162 "An Act relating to absences from the state under the longevity bonus program." APPROVED FOR CALENDARING CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 209(HES) "An Act directing the Department of Health and Social Services to establish a foster care transition program; relating to that program; and providing for an effective date." APPROVED FOR CALENDARING HOUSE BILL NO. 458 "An Act relating to periods of probation for state employees; and providing for an effective date." APPROVED FOR CALENDARING HOUSE BILL NO. 526 "An Act relating to the deadline for filing financial disclosure statements for public members and public member nominees of the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics." APPROVED FOR CALENDARING Contract approval for the services of Patrick Coughlin APPROVED PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION SB 252 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 2/14/02, 4/18/02 and 4/25/02, Finance Report dated 5/6/02 and Rules minutes dated 5/8/02. HB 56 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/26/02 and Finance Report dated 5/8/02. HB 162 - See HESS minutes dated 4/20/01 and 1/28/02, State Affairs minutes dated 4/2/02 and 4/18/02 and Finance Report dated 5/10/02. HB 209 - See HESS minutes dated 4/15/02 and 4/24/02 and Finance Report dated 5/7/02. HB 458 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/30/02 and Rules minutes dated 5/7/02. HB 526 - See State Affairs minutes dated 5/7/02. WITNESS REGISTER Senator John Torgerson Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Explained the contract provisions for Patrick Coughlin Commissioner Ed Flanagan Department of Labor & Workforce Development PO Box 21149 Juneau, AK 99802-1149 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 526 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 02-13, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS called the Senate Rules Committee meeting to order at 9:50 a.m. Senators Therriault, Ellis and Phillips were present. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to rescind the committee's action in approving SB 252-EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING PROGRAM/BOARD for calendaring. SENATOR ELLIS objected and asked for an explanation. SENATOR THERRIAULT said Amendment 1, offered the previous day, was inadvertently placed in the wrong section of the bill. SENATOR ELLIS removed his objection. SENATOR THERRIAULT noted adoption of the previous motion brings the bill before the committee. He then moved to rescind the committee's action in adopting Amendment 1. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS noted without objection, the motion carried. SENATOR ELLIS moved to withdraw Amendment 1. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS noted without objection, the motion carried. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to adopt Amendment 2 [Craver 5/9/02}. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS noted without objection, the motion carried. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to calendar the new Senate Rules Committee substitute to SB 252 and its three accompanying fiscal notes at the Chairman's discretion. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS noted without objection, the motion carried. SENATOR THERRIAULT explained that in the new version, all administrative expenses will fit under the 20 percent. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS said he would move CSHB 56(FIN)-MINIMUM WAGE to the bottom of the calendar. SENATOR ELLIS offered to make a motion to calendar the bill. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS noted a majority of the committee must be present to move the bill from committee and that two members were absent. SENATOR ELLIS said he was willing to give the Chairman the discretion to calendar the bill. SENATOR THERRIAULT said he is not sure of the need for the bill since a ballot measure will be before the voters. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS informed members he would put HB 56 at the bottom of the calendar. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to calendar HB 162-ABSENCES UNDER LONGEVITY BONUS PROGRAM with its accompanying fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that without objection, the motion carried. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to calendar CSHB 209(HES)-PROGRAM FOR FORMER FOSTER CHILDREN with its accompanying zero fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that without objection, the motion carried. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to calendar HB 458-STATE EMPLOYEE PROBATIONARY PERIOD and its accompanying zero fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that without objection, the motion carried. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to calendar CSHB 526(RLS)-DISCLOSURE BY ETHICS COMMITTEE MEMBERS and its accompanying fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that without objection, the motion carried. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS told members that approval of a contract for professional services was before the committee. He asked Senator Torgerson to address the committee. SENATOR JOHN TORGERSON explained to committee members that the contract before the committee is an extension of a contract for Patrick Coughlin to do work for the Senate Resources Committee that was entered into when Senator Pearce was the Senate Rules Chair, two years ago. He foresees the need to go to Washington, D.C. this summer to work with a conference committee and he believes Mr. Coughlin will be invaluable in that setting. The request also contains $6,000 to $8,000 to pay Mr. Coughlin for services performed to the end of this legislative session. He explained the extension adds $70,000 to the original contract and $10,000 for session expenses. Of that amount, $60,000 will come from money approved by the Legislative Council for a tax attorney to work on tax provisions that cost less than anticipated. He noted the other option was to take the request directly to the Legislative Council but requesting a contract extension through the Senate Rules Committee is the simplest method. SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if the legislature will get a report that can be used for future gas line discussions. SENATOR TORGERSON informed members that a final report should be available by Monday that has been written by Mr. Coughlin and both economists. He added that regarding the federal legislation, Mr. Coughlin has not written any reports as that is almost impossible to do. Mr. Coughlin has submitted time sheets each month that clearly show the work he did each day. SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to approve the contract extension for the dollar amount discussed. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that without objection, the motion carried. The committee took up CSHB 56(FIN)-MINIMUM WAGE. SENATOR THERRIAULT informed members that he heard earlier in the year that the group that gathered the signatures for the ballot initiative found taking this question to the ballot to be acceptable. COMMISSIONER ED FLANAGAN, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said it would not be appropriate for him to speak for the sponsors of the initiative but he believes Senator Therriault's understanding of the discussions in the other body is correct. He noted there were various discussions regarding what language was substantially similar to the ballot initiative and acknowledgement that the language in the bill would have to be almost identical to the ballot initiative in terms of the consumer price index. The department supports the bill; it is identical to the initiative. The department also supports leaving the question to the voters. SENATOR THERRIAULT asked that the bill be held for another day. COMMISSIONER FLANAGAN pointed out that he prefers the bill as it takes effect two months earlier than the initiative. SENATOR THERRIAULT asked how this bill will impact the school bus drivers' contracts if they are halfway into a three-year contract. COMMISSIONER FLANAGAN replied that no changes will take place until the next contract negotiation. SENATOR THERRIAULT again requested that the bill be held one day. CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS agreed to do so. He then adjourned the meeting at 10:05 a.m.