Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/10/2002 09:50 AM RLS

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

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