Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/19/1993 09:03 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                 SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                
                        February 19, 1993                                      
                            9:03 a.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Loren Leman, Chairman                                                
  Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chairman                                           
  Senator Robin Taylor                                                         
  Senator Jim Duncan                                                           
  Senator Johnny Ellis                                                         
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SENATE BILL NO. 26                                                           
  "An Act relating  to the  location of the  convening of  the                 
  legislature  in  regular  session;  and  providing   for  an                 
  effective date."                                                             
  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                 
  SENATE BILL NO. 80                                                           
  "An Act eliminating,  consolidating, changing the membership                 
  requirements  of,  and transferring  the  duties of  various                 
  boards,   commissions,   councils,    panels,   authorities,                 
  corporations,  foundations, and  similar  entities of  state                 
  government; and providing for an effective date."                            
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  SB 26 - See Community & Regional Affairs minutes dated                       
          1/28/93, 2/4/93, 2/9/93 and State Affairs                            
          minutes dated 2/17/93.                                               
  SB 18 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/10/93.                             
  SB 80 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/10/93,                             
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Paul Bowers, Airport Manager                                                 
  Juneau International Airport                                                 
  Juneau, AK                                                                   
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Presentation on DGPS                                    
  Tom Jensen, District Manager, Customer Services                              
  Alascom, Inc.                                                                
  8745 Glacier Highway                                                         
  Juneau, AK 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed video teleconferencing                        
  Hugh Malone                                                                  
  2517 David St.                                                               
  Juneau, AK 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 26                        
  Jim Kohler                                                                   
  124 W. 5th St.                                                               
  Juneau, AK 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed T.V. coverage of legislature                  
  Jamie Parsons, Mayor                                                         
  City & Borough of Juneau                                                     
  155 S. Seward St.                                                            
  Juneau, AK 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed access to Juneau                              
  Joe Poor, Executive Director                                                 
  Juneau Chamber of Commerce                                                   
  124 W. 5th St.                                                               
  Juneau, AK 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed access to Juneau                              
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-11, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  The  meeting of the  Senate Affairs Committee  was called to                 
  order by Chairman Loren Leman at 9:03 a.m.                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN brought SB 26  (LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS TO BE  IN                 
  ANCHORAGE)  before  the  committee  as  the first  order  of                 
  SENATOR DUNCAN  noted that  at a  previous hearing,  Senator                 
  Miller brought  up the  the question  of of  what Juneau  is                 
  doing about access, and  he believes it is a  question worth                 
  considering and seeing  what can  be done or  what has  been                 
  done.  He  said he was confident that the City of Juneau has                 
  done everything in its power to  help try to improve access.                 
  Senator  Duncan  said  several  witnesses  were  waiting  to                 
  testify  before  the  committee on  what  is  being done  to                 
  improve access to the capital city.                                          
  Number 060                                                                   
  PAUL BOWERS, Airport  Manager, Juneau International Airport,                 
  using slides and a FAA film,  made a presentation on Project                 
  Juneau, which  is a  differential global  positioning system                 
  (DGPS)  operational   demonstration  for  an   FAA  approved                 
  approach and departure procedure at Juneau.                                  
  Currently, there has  to be a  1,000 foot ceiling with  two-                 
  mile horizontal visibility  for air  carrier landings.   The                 
  DGPS goal is  to reduce it to  less than a 400  foot ceiling                 
  with a half mile visibility.   Probably more significant  is                 
  that it will  change the missed  approach point to a  missed                 
  approach procedure relative to  terrain.  The goal for  this                 
  would be to reduce the  weather induced missed approaches by                 
  a minimum of 70  percent, and the likelihood is that it will                 
  be  about  95 percent.    Mr.  Bowers pointed  out  that the                 
  internal cost to Alaska Airlines due to missed approaches is                 
  approximately $10,000 per missed approach.   The system will                 
  not only improve the weather  dependency to the airport, but                 
  it will reduce costs associated with operating there.                        
  The FAA has  recently approved a  pilot project of the  DGPS                 
  for Juneau.  It will be a $730,000 project  fully funded out                 
  of  the  FAA   satellite  program   and  is  scheduled   for                 
  installation this summer.   It will be installed on a Alaska                 
  Airlines  Boeing 737   aircraft, and data  will be collected                 
  for a six  to twelve month period.   Mr. Bowers said  at the                 
  end of  that trial period,  which begins in  September, they                 
  anticipate the  program to  be approved  for an  operational                 
  procedure to go in and out of Juneau.                                        
  Number 448                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR spoke  to a lack  of repeaters in the  state,                 
  particularly in Southeastern Alaska.  He said because of the                 
  lack of repeaters there are many blank areas, and if a pilot                 
  gets into trouble and  calls out a Mayday, chances  are very                 
  likely that  he will not be heard by  anyone.  He asked when                 
  that problem going to  be fixed so that people  aren't dying                 
  in  Southeast Alaska  because  they can't  be  heard.   PAUL                 
  BOWERS answered that he could  not answer that question, but                 
  he would pass Senator Taylor's concern on to the FAA.                        
  Number 540                                                                   
  TOM  JENSEN,  District  Manager  for  Customer  Service  for                 
  Alascom in Southeast Alaska, read  into the record a  letter                 
  from  Mr.  Ownby,  Vice President  of  Alascom,  offering to                 
  demonstrate  Alascom's  video teleconferencing,  which could                 
  serve as a  cost-effective way to increase  public access to                 
  the legislative process.   The purpose of  the demonstration                 
  would  be  to  show  how  the  standard  feature   of  media                 
  teleconferencing could serve the  legislature and the public                 
  as useful and flexible tools.                                                
  Mr. Jensen  distributed a  PR brochure  showing the  product                 
  used by Alascom in their demonstrations in Southeast Alaska.                 
  He  then  outlined   the  various  features  of   the  video                 
  teleconferencing unit.                                                       
  TAPE 93-11, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 010                                                                   
  SENATOR PHILLIPS pointed out that  his bill addresses moving                 
  the legislature  from Juneau to Anchorage, and he asked what                 
  hindrance did Mr.  Jensen see if the  state agency divisions                 
  or   commissioners   use   this   system   from  Juneau   in                 
  communicating with the legislature in Anchorage.  TOM JENSEN                 
  responded that  the  technology  is  such  that  is  it  not                 
  personal  face  to   face,  but  they  can   still  exchange                 
  documents, however, the cost may be of some concern.  He did                 
  point out that if an individual does not have to travel back                 
  and forth to attend meetings, it does save time and money.                   
  SENATOR DUNCAN commented  that it is not  necessary to spend                 
  money to move  the legislature  and disrupt communities  and                 
  people's lives because access is available on a face to face                 
  basis with video teleconferencing.   He encouraged the Chair                 
  to  consider  video  teleconferencing   a  future  committee                 
  Number 075                                                                   
  HUGH MALONE said he was appearing  before the committee as a                 
  person  who  is   concerned  about  the   dramatic,  perhaps                 
  traumatic effects  that SB 26  would have  on government  in                 
  Alaska.   He  believes if  the  legislation were  enacted, a                 
  realistic analysis could only show that the legislation will                 
  result in a defacto capital move.                                            
  Mr. Malone said as a member of the  legislature for 12 years                 
  and four years as commissioner of the Department of Revenue,                 
  he has  a perspective  of how  those branches  work together                 
  from both sides.  He then  described the interaction between                 
  the two branches, saying it was important to  recognize that                 
  the  bureaucrats  play  a  role  that  is  integral  to  the                 
  legislative  process.  That role  is different in degree and                 
  in  kind from the  role that the  public carries out  in the                 
  legislative process.                                                         
  Mr. Malone also spoke  to the importance of departments  and                 
  agencies  providing  continuous  budget information  to  the                 
  legislature throughout the whole appropriations process.                     
  Mr. Malone said  if the  legislature were to  move it  would                 
  create a separation of government  that would increase costs                 
  and  cause  delays  in  decision   making  and  an  eventual                 
  migration  of offices, followed  by moving  key staff.   The                 
  state would end  up having a  "winter capital" in  Anchorage                 
  and a "summer capital" in Juneau.                                            
  Number 265                                                                   
  SENATOR DUNCAN asked  in his  experience as a  commissioner,                 
  how often did he interact with the legislature.  HUGH MALONE                 
  responded that  probably about half  of the time  during the                 
  session  there was some  presence at the  legislature on his                 
  part  and  some  of  it  is  delegated  to  deputies  or  to                 
  legislative liaisons.                                                        
  Mr.  Malone added that he was testifying  on his own time to                 
  share  his  perspectives  with the  committee  based  on his                 
  experience.  He also noted that he has  been doing some work                 
  on a fiscal  note analysis  with Clark Gruening  who is  the                 
  lobbyist for the City and Borough of Juneau.                                 
  Number 315                                                                   
  JIM KOHLER, a Juneau resident  and Director of the Southeast                 
  Conference, raised the  question of just how  accessible the                 
  legislature wants  to  be.    He said  there  are  different                 
  degrees  of access, and if it is  the ultimate goal that the                 
  legislature becomes as  accessible as  possible to all  that                 
  elect them, it  is certainly  a goal more  primary than  the                 
  issue that  SB 26 speaks to directly.   To that end, he said                 
  it  would  be possible,    without a  direct  expenditure of                 
  dollars by the  legislative body, to provide  statewide live                 
  coverage  of  floor  sessions, selected  committee  sessions                 
  across the  entire 120-day  period that  the legislature  in                 
  session.  It would be possible to provide it on the basis of                 
  paid  commercial  sponsorships,  no more  than  perhaps five                 
  minutes worth  every  hour.   However,  it  would  need  the                 
  legislative body to say  it wants to move towards  that, and                 
  he said he would be happy to work with legislators to try to                 
  achieve that particular result.                                              
  Number 465                                                                   
  SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS  pointed out that  he had sent out  a                 
  questionnaire and that over 80 percent  of the people in his                 
  district  have  responded  in the  affirmative  to  move the                 
  legislature from Juneau to Anchorage,  and this is the point                 
  of view he is representing.  He said the people have a right                 
  to have that access to the legislature.                                      
  Number 500                                                                   
  SENATOR  TAYLOR expressed  his  appreciation to  Mr. Kohler,                 
  saying he thought  his proposal is very innovative  and very                 
  Number 660                                                                   
  MAYOR JAMIE  PARSONS, City and  Borough of Juneau,  said the                 
  community is very  sensitive and  concerned about access  to                 
  the capital and  has worked  to try to  bring in  additional                 
  airlines, as well as additional stops by Alaska Airlines.                    
  TAPE 93-12, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  Mayor Parsons  said the community of Juneau would be willing                 
  to be  a financial  partner with  the state  to find  better                 
  access   to   teleconferencing,   C-Span,    any   kind   of                 
  communications with the rest of the state.                                   
  Number 012                                                                   
  SENATOR  DUNCAN  asked  how  Mayor Parsons  viewed  Juneau's                 
  interaction with  the rest of Southeast Alaska  and the rest                 
  of the state.   MAYOR PARSONS answered that during  his term                 
  as mayor he has stressed that their be more  outreach by the                 
  community towards the rest of the state.  He said he  thinks                 
  that traditionally Juneau has been supportive throughout the                 
  state  and particularly this region.  SENATOR DUNCAN said he                 
  was  very  sensitive  to  Senator  Miller's comments  at  an                 
  earlier hearing about Juneau's interaction  with the rest of                 
  the state, and  he wanted to be  sure that it was  on record                 
  that Juneau is  aware that there  are needs outside of  this                 
  Number 075                                                                   
  JOE POOR,  Executive Director,  Juneau Chamber of  Commerce,                 
  agreed that the  community is very sensitive to the concerns                 
  raised by Senator  Miller and  it is trying  to change.   He                 
  said  the Chamber tries  to respond to  any business related                 
  requests and concerns  anywhere in  the state.   He said  he                 
  believes we need this strong unification of Alaskan business                 
  communities in order to resolve some of the problems that we                 
  Number 132                                                                   
  SENATOR  ELLIS  voiced his  concern  with the  fiscal notes,                 
  saying he thinks they deserve  a lot of attention.   He said                 
  he  believes  that  moving  the   legislature  means  moving                 
  everything eventually,  and he has never been a supporter of                 
  that.   His  main concern  centers around  what will  really                 
  happen with the bureaucracy.                                                 
  Number 168                                                                   
  SENATOR PHILLIPS noted that SB 26 still has referrals to the                 
  Judiciary  Committee  and  the  Finance  Committee,  and  he                 
  suggested that a  video teleconferencing demo could  be held                 
  in one of those committees.                                                  
  Number 180                                                                   
  SENATOR  LEMAN asked for the will of the committee on SB 26.                 
  Hearing no motion,  he stated SB 26  would be held  over for                 
  the next meeting.                                                            
  SENATOR LEMAN also  stated that SB 18  (APPR: WEST ANCHORAGE                 
  HIGH  SCHOOL)  and  SB  80  (BOARDS, COMMISSIONS,  COUNCILS,                 
  AUTHORITIES) would  be held  over until  the next  committee                 
  There  being  no   further  business  to  come   before  the                 
  committee, the meeting was adjourned at 10:52 a.m.                           

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