Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/10/1993 09:10 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                 SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                
                        February 10, 1993                                      
                            9:10 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Senator Loren Leman, Chairman                                                
  Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chairman                                           
  Senator Robin Taylor                                                         
  Senator Jim Duncan                                                           
  Senator Johnny Ellis                                                         
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  None                                                                         
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24 am                                             
  Relating to the  shortage of  adequate housing for  military                 
  personnel and their dependents, directing the Alaska Housing                 
  Finance Corporation and certain  municipalities to develop a                 
  joint program  for improving  the inventory  of housing  for                 
  those personnel,  and urging the governor,  the commissioner                 
  of natural resources and local  officials to identify public                 
  land that might be made available for that housing.                          
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 56                                                           
  "An  Act  relating to  the  budget reserve  fund established                 
  under  art. IX,  sec.  17,  Constitution  of  the  State  of                 
  Alaska."                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 18                                                           
  "An   Act  making  an  appropriation  for  a  grant  to  the                 
  Municipality of  Anchorage  for renovation  and addition  to                 
  West Anchorage High  School; and providing for  an effective                 
  date."                                                                       
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 79                                                           
  "An  Act  setting  termination  dates  for  various  boards,                 
  commissions, councils, agencies,  committees, and  divisions                 
  of state government; repealing obsolete statutes relating to                 
  the  State  Fire  Commission  and  the Board  of  Electrical                 
  Examiners;   repealing   obsolete   statutes   relating   to                 
  termination of agency programs and activities; increasing to                 
  10 years the normal maximum  interval for review of  boards,                 
  commissions, and other  entities that are subject  to sunset                 
  reviews; and providing for an effective date."                               
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
  HJR 24 - No previous action to record.                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SB 56 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/3/93.                              
                                                                               
  SB 18 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
  SB 79 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Eldon Mulder                                                  
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor of HJR 24                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Kay Brown                                                     
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information on CSSB 56 (STA)                    
                       and SB 79 & SB 80                                       
                                                                               
  Senator Randy Phillips                                                       
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testifed in support of CSSB 56 (STA)                    
                                                                               
  Senator Judy Salo                                                            
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor of SJR 14                                 
                                                                               
  Gary Bader                                                                   
  Division of Administrative Services                                          
  Department of Education                                                      
  801 W. 10th St., Suite 200                                                   
  Juneau, AK 99801-1894                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed to CSSB 18 (STA)                                
                                                                               
  Randy Welker, Legislative Auditor                                            
  Division of Legislative Audit                                                
  P.O. Box 113300                                                              
  Juneau, AK 99811-3300                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information on SB 79 & SB 80                    
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-8, SIDE A                                                            
  Number 001                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Leman called  the Senate Affairs Committee  meeting                 
  to order at 9:10 a.m.                                                        
  SENATOR  LEMAN  introduced  HJR   24  am  (MILITARY  HOUSING                 
  SHORTAGE) as the first order of business.                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE  ELDON  MULDER,  prime  sponsor  of  HJR  24,                 
  explained the  purpose of the  resolution is to  address the                 
  housing shortage in  relation to  the military needs  within                 
  the Anchorage and Fairbanks areas.                                           
                                                                               
  The   Base  Relocation  and  Closure  Commission  (BRAC)  is                 
  currently  evaluating  the  various   bases  throughout  the                 
  country  for   additional  closure  and   consolidation  and                 
  Alaska's  bases are on that  list.  One  of the criteria for                 
  closure  includes  the  ability  of  both the  existing  and                 
  receiving  communities  infrastructures  to support  forces,                 
  missions  and  personnel.    U.S.  Senator Ted  Stevens  has                 
  pointed out  that it is  the only area or  facet of Alaska's                 
  bases that is deficient.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative   Mulder  said  HJR   24  directs   AHFC,  in                 
  cooperation  with   the  Municipality   of  Anchorage,   the                 
  Matanuska  Susitna  Borough  and  the  Fairbanks  North Star                 
  Borough, to  develop or recommend a  self-sustaining program                 
  to provide suitable housing for military personnel and their                 
  dependents,  and then to  come back to  the legislature next                 
  year with that plan.                                                         
                                                                               
  Number 070                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR asked who  will own these houses if  they are                 
  built.  REPRESENTATIVE  MULDER answered  the proposal is  to                 
  develop a program, and  it is envisioned that they  would be                 
  privately  owned,  but they  would  be  leased back  to  the                 
  military.  This is a new approach that has never  been tried                 
  before, and Senator Stevens believes it can be effective.                    
                                                                               
  Number 090                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS related that he was contacted by a constituent                 
  who told him that there are a number of landlords who  claim                 
  there  are  numerous  units  available  in their  districts.                 
  People would like AHFC  to perhaps assist them in  fixing up                 
  these existing units to make them "suitable" for housing the                 
  military.  REPRESENTATIVE  MULDER responded  that it is  not                 
  envisioned that this  program would actually  be implemented                 
  until such time as  the military is committed to  staying in                 
  Alaska.  He  added that he would hope that the program would                 
  encompass renovation of older units.                                         
                                                                               
  Number 175                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  MILLER pointed out  that a  copy of  the resolution                 
  should also be sent to the mayor of North Pole.                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS requested  that the  resolution be held  until                 
  later in the meeting so that  he could prepare some language                 
  relating to existing landlords and existing housing.                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN stated HJR 24 am would  be held until later in                 
  the meeting.                                                                 
  Number 225                                                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN  introduced SB  56  (ADMINISTRATION OF  BUDGET                 
  RESERVE FUND) as the next order of business.                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE BROWN outlined the following changes  made in                 
  a  new  draft  committee substitute  (8-LS0453\O)  that  was                 
  before the committee for its consideration:                                  
                                                                               
       1)  An effective date is added to the title.                            
                                                                               
       2)  On page 1, lines 10 and 13, the six months language                 
  that appeared in  prior draft  has been removed  and it  now                 
  reads:    "money received  after  an informal  conference or                 
  after a request  for a formal  hearing has been received  by                 
  the state the  money would be  deemed disputed and would  go                 
  into the Constitutional Budget Reserve."                                     
                                                                               
       3)  On page 2, line 7, a new sentence has been added to                 
  ensure that what is looked at for the purpose of determining                 
  what is  available, the  comparable sources  from the  prior                 
  year are looked as well.                                                     
                                                                               
       4)  On page  2, line 13, the words "federal funds" have                 
  been added and on  page 2, line 14 the words  "or money held                 
  in trust for a particular purpose."  It now reads that money                 
  available  for  appropriation    does  not include  "federal                 
  funds" the earnings reserve, "or money held for a particular                 
  purpose."                                                                    
                                                                               
       5)      On  page   2,  line   20,  the   Department  of                 
  Administration would be  the entity transferring the  money,                 
  rather than the Department of Revenue as in the prior draft.                 
                                                                               
       6)   On page  2, line  24, the  transfer date has  been                 
  changed from November 15 to December 16.                                     
                                                                               
       7)  Sections  2 and  3, which deal  with the  effective                 
  date, are new.                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative   Brown  pointed  out   that  the  Section  2                 
  application section  states that  Section 1  would apply  to                 
  taxes received after  June 30,  together with penalties  and                 
  interest.  However, the legislative  counsel has advised the                 
  legislature cannot in a piece of statute assure that a court                 
  might not reach a different result should this issue ever be                 
  litigated.   She said after  having talked to  other members                 
  about  it  and recognizing  the  situation with  the current                 
  budget  year,  she believes  the  bill will  stand  a better                 
  chance of passage if it contains an application provision.                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER  moved that  CSSB 56  (STA) referenced as  8-                 
  LS0453\O  be  adopted in  lieu  of the  committee substitute                 
  adopted by the committee on  2/3/93.  Hearing no  objection,                 
  the motion carried.                                                          
                                                                               
  SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS,  Chairman of the  Legislative Budget                 
  and Audit Committee,  said he  has looked  at the  committee                 
  substitute and that he has no problems with it.                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR stated  that he believes that by passing this                 
  into statute law,  it does  a great deal  more to  establish                 
  what   the  legislature's   original  intent   was  of   the                 
  proposition that was placed before the people.                               
                                                                               
  Number 300                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN asked for the will of the committee.                           
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER moved  that CSSB  56 (STA) be  passed out  of                 
  committee  with  individual  recommendations.    Hearing  no                 
  objection, it was so ordered.                                                
  SENATOR LEMAN  introduced SJR  14 (LINE  ITEM VETO  FOR U.S.                 
  PRESIDENT) as the next order of business.                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR JUDY SALO, prime  sponsor of SJR 14, said one of the                 
  most pressing problems in  this nation as we enter  the 21st                 
  Century is the  amount of the  national debt.  Although  the                 
  presidential line-item veto would not  solve the problem, it                 
  would be one tool  that could be used to  impede pork barrel                 
  type appropriations.  While Congress  has dealt with several                 
  measures in recent  history which  would give the  President                 
  line-item  veto control,  there hasn't been  enough internal                 
  motivation to pass this measure.                                             
                                                                               
  Senator Salo said  SJR 14  encourages Congress to  establish                 
  line-item veto power for the President.                                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR  LEMAN   noted that Presidents  Reagan and  Bush had                 
  asked for this power for 12 years, and he expressed his hope                 
  that  with  President  Clinton calling  for  the  same, that                 
  Democrats in Congress would now find this issue "politically                 
  correct" and support it.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 340                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN asked for the pleasure of the committee.                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER moved that SJR 14  be passed out of committee                 
  with  individual recommendations.   Hearing no objection, it                 
  was so ordered.                                                              
  Number 370                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN introduced  SB 18  (APPR: WEST ANCHORAGE  HIGH                 
  SCHOOL) as the next order of business.                                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR  ELLIS,  prime  sponsor  of  SB  18,  explained  the                 
  legislation appropriates approximately $26 million on repair                 
  and  renovation,  life  safety and  other  concerns  at West                 
  Anchorage High School.   He related that when he  toured the                 
  facility last year, he  was shocked to see the  shape it was                 
  in.                                                                          
                                                                               
  Senator Ellis said he is fully aware that the legislation is                 
  not  likely to pass from Senate  Finance to the floor in its                 
  current  form.   However,  he  and  the  Chair  are  working                 
  together to gain  a profile  for this project  to allow  the                 
  parents, staff and students  to make their case  through the                 
  legislative process.  He said he's hopeful that it will pass                 
  on to the  Finance Committee where  it could be rolled  into                 
  other measures.                                                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN noted  a work session  on SB 18 scheduled  for                 
  Saturday, February  13.   He  then directed  attention to  a                 
  proposed committee substitute which will add  $9,050,000 for                 
  Romig Junior High School, which is the adjoining junior high                 
  school that feeds West High School.  He said the purpose for                 
  this is to broaden the scope of discussion on Saturday.                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR questioned  if the  $25,896,000 was just  for                 
  repairs  at  West  Anchorage  High  School.   SENATOR  ELLIS                 
  acknowledged that was  correct and that  it was for Phase  I                 
  and Phase II of the project.                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 445                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS moved that CSSB 18  (STA) be adopted.  Hearing                 
  no objection, it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
  GARY BADER, Division of Administrative Services,  Department                 
  of Education, said the  department is aware that there  is a                 
  statewide need for school construction, and the Governor has                 
  proposed a plan  which the department hopes  the legislature                 
  will  seriously consider.    He said  the  department is  in                 
  opposition  to  SB  18  because  it favors  a  comprehensive                 
  approach over a piecemeal approach.  He clarified  that they                 
  are not in opposition to the project.                                        
                                                                               
  SENATOR  LEMAN  stated  CSSB  18  (STA)  would  be  held  in                 
  committee and reminded members that the meeting in Anchorage                 
  on Saturday would be a work session, not a formal meeting.                   
  Number 480                                                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN brought HJR 24  am (MILITARY HOUSING SHORTAGE)                 
  back before the committee.                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS moved that on page 2, line 26,  after the word                 
  "programs"  add "including  upgrades  to existing  available                 
  housing."    Hearing  no  objection,  the Chair  stated  the                 
  amendment was adopted and would be incorporated into a State                 
  Affairs SCS.                                                                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER moved  that on page  3, line 13,  add that  a                 
  copy of  the  resolution  be  sent  to  the  Honorable  Luke                 
  Cunningham, Mayor of  the City of  North Pole."  Hearing  no                 
  objection, the amendment was adopted.                                        
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR moved that SCS HJR 24 (STA) be  passed out of                 
  committee  with  individual  recommendations.    Hearing  no                 
  objection, it was so ordered.                                                
  Number 520                                                                   
  S E N A T O R   L E M A N   i n t r o d u c e d    S B   7 9                 
  (BOARDS/COMMISSIONS/COUNCILS/AUTHORITIES)   and   SB      80                 
  (BOARDS/COMMISSIONS/COUNCILS/AUTHORITIES) as the final order                 
  of business.                                                                 
                                                                               
  RANDY WELKER,  Legislative Audit Division,  explained SB  79                 
  addresses the sunset legislation which  has been on Alaska's                 
  books  since 1977.   The legislature adopted  sunset laws in                 
  1977 top review the operations and functions of a variety of                 
  boards and commissions.  Since 1977, over 100 sunset reviews                 
  have been conducted  on various boards and  commissions, and                 
  significant   improvements   have    been   made   in    the                 
  accountability and operation of those boards.                                
                                                                               
  Mr. Welker noted that Alaska's review cycle of four years is                 
  the shortest  of any  state.   The average  review cycle  is                 
  eight  years and goes  as high as  13 years in  some states.                 
  The  Legislatiave  Audit   Division  is  recommending   that                 
  Alaska's cycle be amended  to a 10-year sunset cycle.   This                 
  would provide several  advantages: (1)  it would lessen  the                 
  demand  on  audit   resources;  (2)  there  would   be  less                 
  legislative time devoted to continuous introduction of bills                 
  and hearings  and testimony  on various  boards; (3)   there                 
  would be less strain on board  membership over the issues of                 
  sunset; and (4) less time would be devoted by the Department                 
  of Commerce & Economic Development to the sunset process.                    
                                                                               
  Responding to  a question  from Senator  Taylor, Mr.  Welker                 
  noted that there are several boards that  they found through                 
  a review  of statutes and other sources  of information that                 
  are inactive  and have been  for a long time.  These  boards                 
  are being repealed in SB 80.                                                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS asked what effect this legislation has  on the                 
  Citizen's  Review  Panel  for Permanency  Planning.    RANDY                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  WELKER answered that SB 79 does  not address it, however, it                 
  is repealed in SB 80 because it has been relatively inactive                 
  since its adoption  by the legislature, primarily  by choice                 
  of the  Administration by  not  funding it.   SENATOR  ELLIS                 
  stated  his strong  opposition to  deleting that  particular                 
  panel.                                                                       
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-8, SIDE B                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 010                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS pointed out  that the list of  boards                 
  being  repealed  in  SB 80  were  recommendations  from last                 
  year's Legislative Budget  & Audit  Committee, and that  the                 
  bill has several committees  of referral so that it  can get                 
  full consideration.  He added that he shared Senators Ellis'                 
  concern with that particular board.                                          
                                                                               
  RANDY WELKER clarified that the  audit division's purpose in                 
  going through the statutes and preparing their report was to                 
  identify  those  boards  that  appeared   not  to  have  any                 
  activity.                                                                    
  Part of  the recommendations in the division's report and in                 
  the legislation are the result  of the Governor's Task Force                 
  on Boards and Commissions.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 075                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Brown stated  that she  does not believe  the                 
  recommendation   to    eliminate   the    Telecommunications                 
  Information   Council   is  adequately   justified   in  the                 
  Governor's task  force report,  and that  she  does not  see                 
  anything in there that rationalizes why they want to get rid                 
  of it.   She said while  the telecommunications council  has                 
  had  its problems  in  the past,  it  is  doing a  good  job                 
  presently.  She urged that the committee delete reference to                 
  that  council  from  the bill  and  that  it  be allowed  to                 
  continue its work.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 095                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  LEMAN stated SB 79  and SB 80  would be back before                 
  the committee at the Wednesday, February 17 meeting at which                 
  time he hopes to move them from committee.                                   
  There  being  no   further  business  to  come   before  the                 
  committee, the meeting was adjourned at 10:06 a.m.                           

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