Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/21/1995 03:37 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                
                        February 21, 1995                                      
                           3:37 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Bert Sharp, Chairman                                                  
 Senator Randy Phillips, Vice-Chairman                                         
 Senator Loren Leman                                                           
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14                                                
 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska             
 relating to certain public corporations.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 4                                                 
 Relating to an amendment to the Constitution of the United States             
 setting out the authority of the United States Congress and of                
 state legislatures to enact laws relating to limits on election               
 campaign expenditures.                                                        
                                                                               
 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 4                                      
 "An Act allowing a person under age 21 to be arrested by a peace              
 officer without a warrant for illegal possession, consumption, or             
 control of alcohol; classifying certain offenses related to driving           
 while intoxicated or failure to submit to a chemical test as                  
 felonies; and providing for an effective date."                               
                                                                               
 SSTA - 2/21/95                                                                
                                                                               
 SB  54 (ELECTRIC UTIL & SOLID WASTE REMOVAL) was scheduled but not            
 taken up at this date.                                                        
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SJR 14 - No previous senate committee action.                                 
                                                                               
 SJR 4 - No previous senate committee action.                                  
                                                                               
 SB 4 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/9/95.                                
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Senator Rick Halford                                                          
 State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-4958                            
   POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SJR 14                                 
                                                                               
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
 State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-3892                            
   POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SJR 4                                  
                                                                               
 Ron Otte, Commissioner                                                        
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 111200, Juneau, AK 99811-1200¶465-4322                               
   POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 4                                       
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-6, SIDE A                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at           
 3:37 p.m. and brings up SJR 14 as the first order of business                 
 before the committee.  The chairman calls the first witness.                  
                                                                               
 SSTA - 2/21/95                                                                
                                                                               
        SJR 14 CONFIRMATION OF MEMBERS OF PUBLIC CORP                        
                                                                               
 Number 015                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD, prime sponsor of SJR 14, states the topic of the             
 resolution has been considered numerous times by the legislature.             
 It has been considered in relation to the Alaska Railroad                     
 corporation, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, and Alaska                
 Housing Finance Corporation, among others.  Senator Halford thinks            
 if the framers of the constitution had envisioned that these public           
 corporations would be in charge of the resources and assets of the            
 State of Alaska, they would have made legislative confirmation part           
 of the confirmation process of the boards of these corporations.              
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD states that during the Hammond administration an              
 attorney general's opinion was issued which essentially said,                 
 without a constitutional amendment the legislature cannot require             
 confirmation of members of public corporations.  He thinks any                
 commission or entity which manages any state assets should have               
 members confirmed by the legislature.  There is a $2,200 fiscal               
 note, which is the cost of putting the question on the ballot.                
                                                                               
 Number 060                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS supports SJR 14, but asks why the resolution           
 did not receive a referral to the Senate Judiciary Committee.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD does not know why the resolution did not receive a            
 referral to the Senate Judiciary Committee.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 070                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Mr. Halford if he could get a copy of the list             
 of public corporations which would be affected by SJR 14.                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD responds he will get Senator Leman a copy of the              
 list.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 095                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SJR 14 from the            
 Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SJR 14 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 SSTA - 2/21/95                                                                
                                                                               
        SJR  4 FED CONST AM RE: CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES                        
                                                                               
 Number 100                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP brings up SJR 4 as the next order of business before            
 the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness.               
                                                                               
 Number 105                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY, prime sponsor of SJR 4, relays information                    
 contained in his sponsor statement.  Senator Donley states there is           
 a proposed committee substitute to SJR 4 which contains one new               
 section that would provide empowerment to local governments in                
 setting reasonable campaign expenditure limits.  The proposed                 
 committee substitute is identical to the legislation before the               
 U.S. Congress.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 170                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY states one suggested solution to campaign financing            
 problems is public financing of campaigns.  However, he does not              
 think the public supports public financing of campaigns.  He thinks           
 a constitutional amendment would be the best way to limit campaign            
 spending.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 190                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Senator Donley what he thinks would be a                   
 reasonable spending limit for campaigns for Alaska State                      
 Legislative races.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 195                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY suggests basing a figure on the average cost of                
 previous races.  The figure might be affected by geographical                 
 considerations.  For instance, candidates in rural areas have high            
 travel expenses, while candidates in urban areas have high media              
 expenses.  He cannot give an exact figure, but of course the beauty           
 of a limit is that all candidates would have to adhere to it.                 
 There would be no spiraling of expenditures.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 230                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS states he supports SJR 4.  Senator Phillips            
 asks Senator Donley what he thinks about putting a limit on state-            
 wide proposition ballot measures.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 233                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY states there was a distinction drawn in some of the            
 case law between limiting spending on campaigns, versus limiting              
 spending on propositions.  Ballot propositions were seen to be more           
 closely related to the free speech issue than were candidates.                
                                                                               
 Number 265                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY urges the committee to stay with the proposal before           
 the senate at this time.  He thinks it would be much more difficult           
 to get states to ratify a proposal other than the one contained in            
 SJR 4.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY makes a motion to adopt the State Affairs committee            
 substitute for SJR 4.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objections, states the committee                   
 substitute has been adopted.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 275                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Senator Donley if SJR 4 would distinguish                  
 between a campaign cost and a donated cost.                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY responds there is an accurate body of law making the           
 distinction about when something is an in-kind contribution and               
 when something is not.  When services are contributed which a                 
 person normally does for pay, that is considered a contribution.              
                                                                               
 Number 315                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SJR 4 from the             
 Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SJR 4 released from              
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
                                                                               
                       SB   4 DWI LAWS                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP brings up SB 4 as the next order of business before             
 the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness.               
                                                                               
 Number 340                                                                    
                                                                               
 RON OTTE, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety, states that              
 though the administration has not yet identified a position on SB             
 4, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) supports SB 4.                       
 Commissioner Otte thinks most law enforcement agencies in Alaska              
 are supportive of any legislation or approach which would target              
 chronic impaired drivers.  People who reach the category of driver            
 outlined in SB 4 are a serious threat.  There are about 400 persons           
 per year who would fall into this category.  Commissioner Otte                
 states again that the administration has not come forward yet with            
 a position on SB 4, he believes because of the fiscal implications,           
 but that it would be very hard for DPS not to speak in support of             
 the bill.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 356                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks, since he thinks of Commissioner Otte as "the              
 administration", to whom he is referring when he says "the                    
 administration"?                                                              
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER OTTE responds the governor has not yet come forward              
 with a position on SB 4.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Commissioner Otte if he will be advising the               
 governor on SB 4.                                                             
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER OTTE replies he has shared his opinion with the                  
 governor's staff on SB 4.   However, he cannot speak for the                  
 Department of Corrections or the Department of Law.                           
                                                                               
 Number 375                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks Commissioner Otte what the process is             
 for determining position on issues.  It is Senator Phillips                   
 impression that Commissioner Otte is "out of the loop".                       
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER OTTE responds that the process is for all departments            
 affected to present a bill analysis to the governor.  The OMB                 
 director, the chief of staff, the legislative liaison, and the                
 governor take those into consideration when determining positions.            
 Regardless of the position taken by the governor in terms of the              
 fiscal implications of SB 4, the Department of Public Safety likes            
 increasing penalties for third-time offenders.                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks if the governor's office has timelines            
 for determining positions.                                                    
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER OTTE is not aware of whether or not the governor's               
 office has timelines.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS thinks the governor's office should pick up            
 the pace on issuing formal positions.  He asks Commissioner Otte              
 what his personal feeling is on SB 4.                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP commented Commissioner Otte has already given his              
 personal opinion.                                                             
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER OTTE states if he did not have a personal opinion, he            
 would not be at the hearing.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SB 4 from the              
 Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.               
                                                                               
 Number 405                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SB 4 released from               
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing            
 at 4:12 p.m.                                                                  
                                                                               

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