Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/13/1995 03:32 PM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE April 13, 1995 3:32 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Bert Sharp, Chairman Senator Randy Phillips, Vice-Chairman Senator Loren Leman Senator Jim Duncan MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Dave Donley COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 142 "An Act establishing the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council and transferring certain functions of other entities to the council; establishing a planning mechanism for employment training and other human resource investment needs; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 146 "An Act relating to the Alaska Election Code and to state election administration." HOUSE BILL NO. 173 "An Act relating to reports by state agencies." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 142 - No previous senate committee action. SB 146 - No previous senate committee action. HB 173 - No previous senate committee action. WITNESS REGISTER Brad Pierce, Senior Policy Analyst Office of Management & Budget P.O. Box 110020, Juneau, AK 99811-0020¶465-4677 POSITION STATEMENT: representative of prime sponsor of SB 142 Jerry Lewis, Executive Director Governor's Council on Vocational & Career Education 211 4th St., Ste. 101, Juneau, AK 99801-1172¶586-1736 POSITION STATEMENT: supports SB 142 Jan Tatlow P.O. Box 1621, Palmer, AK 99645¶745-4488 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 142 Debra Call, Chairperson Alaska Job Training Council 2525 C St., Anchorage, AK 99501¶561-3200 POSITION STATEMENT: supports SB 142 Mary Shields 4041 B St., #102, Anchorage, AK 99503¶562-1633 POSITION STATEMENT: supports SB 142 Teeny Metcalf, Job Training Council Department of Community & Regional Affairs 333 W. 4th Ave., Ste. 220, Anchorage, AK 99519-2341¶269-4659 POSITION STATEMENT: supports SB 142 Sherman Ernouf, Aide to Senator Kelly State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-3822 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SB 146 David Koivuniemi, Acting Director Division of Elections P.O. Box 110017, Juneau, AK 99811-0017¶465-4611 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 146 Barbara Whiting Division of Elections P.O. Box 110017, Juneau, AK 99811-0017¶465-4611 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 146 Representative Gary Davis State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-2693 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HB 173 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-18, SIDE A Number 001 SSTA - 4/13/95 SB 142 HUMAN RESOURCE INVESTMENT COUNCIL CHAIRMAN SHARP calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at 3:32 p.m. and brings up SB 142 as the first order of business before the committee. The chairman notes that the committee does not yet have a quorum, but will begin by taking testimony. Chairman Sharp calls the first witness. Number 020 BRAD PIERCE, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Management & Budget, reads a written statement consisting of information contained in the transmittal letter from the governor. Number 098 MR. PIERCE reads a sectional analysis for SB 142. Number 190 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS expresses concern over the fiscal note, which is for a larger sum than last year's fiscal note. CHAIRMAN SHARP asks Mr. Pierce to explain why, since funding is being transferred from other sources, the fiscal note is not a zero fiscal note. The chairman notes that when he sees a fiscal note with money on it, that means additional funding. MR. PIERCE states there is no additional funding. This is transferring money from existing programs to the Governor's Office. SENATOR DUNCAN adds that the fiscal note he has shows interagency receipts. The funding source does not show under general funds, so he would assume the money is already in the budget, and is not a new expenditure. MR. PIERCE responds that is a correct observance. He states the fiscal note shows how the money is being transferred. SENATOR DUNCAN asks if there is any new money, since there will be one new position created by SB 142. MR. PIERCE replies that the cost of the new position is being absorbed. Number 222 SENATOR LEMAN comments that a four person staff for the council seems like a large staff. Also, he thinks a board of 23 to 26 members is very large, and may be unwieldy. Senator Leman asks if there will be a net savings from SB 142. Number 235 MR. PIERCE responds that a net savings over time is anticipated. At this time, there are three poorly-staffed councils. What SB 142 will do is give us one adequately-staffed council. However, the primary reason for SB 142 is not as a cost-saving measure: it is to increase effectiveness in job-training programs. SENATOR LEMAN would like to see larger fiscal savings, while still increasing efficiency. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks Mr. Pierce if he has a copy of last year's fiscal note. MR. PIERCE responds he probably has one in his office. He reiterates that the fiscal note is a zero fiscal note, and there will be no new expenditures due to SB 142. CHAIRMAN SHARP asks Mr. Pierce if the council will just serve in an advisory capacity in relation to the private industry councils (pic). MR. PIERCE replies that it will assume to functions of the Job Training Coordinating Council, which currently oversees the pics. Number 270 JERRY LEWIS, Executive Director, Governor's Council on Vocational & Career Education, states the council supports SB 142. He asks that the committee consider including the School to Work Transition Council under the umbrella of the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council. Mr. Lewis also suggests requiring that the chairperson of the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council be from the private sector. He also suggests not requiring every member of every council to attend all meetings, because he did not think that would be very workable. Number 311 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS notes that his staff just looked up the fiscal notes from last year: there were ten fiscal notes, and all of them were zero. He asks if there is a difference between last year's bill and this year's bill. MR. PEARCE responds that the bills are very similar; it is the same zero fiscal note. There are no new general fund monies. Number 319 CHAIRMAN SHARP asks Mr. Lewis about his recommendation that one of the co-chairpersons be from the private sector. MR. LEWIS replies that the Governor's Council on Vocational & Career Education is recommending that, instead of co-chairs, the new council have a chairperson and a vice-chairperson, with the chairperson from the private sector. Number 330 JAN TATLOW, Member, Private Industry Council, testifying from Matsu, states she is concerned with the composition of the council. She recommends that the three private industry councils in the state be given a seat on the new council to ensure a local linkage. Number 350 DEBRA CALL, Chairperson, Alaska Job Training Council, testifying from Anchorage, states she is a strong proponent of SB 142. Ms. Call thinks the current educational system is gearing students toward college education, but in reality, only a small percentage of students actually go to college. She hopes this legislation will help resolve the future for the students who do not go to college. Ms. Call also hopes SB 142 will help increase hiring and employment opportunities for state residents. MS. CALL states that consolidation of employment and training programs is also occurring on the national level and in other states. We need a state council to set priorities based upon employment needs and opportunities within the state. The existing councils are only serving the requirements of the federal programs which established the councils. Ms. Call states also, that it is her understanding that U.S. Senator Stevens is very supportive of this legislation. Number 412 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks Ms. Call if she has seen the fiscal note for SB 142. MS. CALL responds she does not believe there is a fiscal note. There will be no new general fund monies. Number 417 SENATOR LEMAN asks Ms. Call if 23-26 members is necessary. MS. CALL replies the number of members reflects the recommendation of the JTPA. SENATOR LEMAN asks if that number is similar to the number specified in last year's bill. MS. CALL thinks the number is similar. MR. PIERCE adds that last year's bill did not consolidate the three councils; it just created an additional council to oversee the three existing councils. The number of members does reflect the requirements of JTPA. MS. CALL agrees that the size of the council could be cumbersome. Number 451 MARY SHIELDS, testifying from Anchorage, informs the committee that she runs a contract employment service. Ms. Shields states she supports SB 142. She sees a lack of training opportunities for people who are out of highschool or have dropped out of college. She also sees a great many people returning to college for a second degree because they are unable to get a job, even though they have a college education. In trying to help people find work, she understands how hard it is to be laid of from an industry in decline and have to be retrained for a different industry. She has seen these problems in both the oil and the logging industries. Coordination of employment services will save time and money and will be more efficient. Number 498 MS. SHIELDS informs the committee that U.S. Senator Stevens supports SB 142. Number 500 TEENY METCALF, Alaska Job Training Council, Department of Community & Regional Affairs, testifying from Anchorage, states the department is in favor of SB 142. CHAIRMAN SHARP notes that the legislation will be held over until the next committee meeting. Number 510 SENATOR LEMAN asks what the language, "local public education" means. MR. PIERCE responds that refers to K-12 education. He believes that is a JTPA requirement. Number 520 CHAIRMAN SHARP states it is his intention to move SB 142 out at the next committee meeting. SSTA - 4/13/95 SB 146 ELECTION CODE AND ADMINISTRATION SENATOR SHARP brings up SB 146 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 527 SHERMAN ERNOUF, Aide to Senator Kelly, prime sponsor of SB 146, reads the sponsor statement for the bill. Number 540 MR. ERNOUF reviews the sectional analysis on SB 146. Number 560 MR. ERNOUF notes that three amendments proposed by Senator Kelly have been submitted to the committee; members have those amendments in their bill files. SENATOR DUNCAN asks if any employees of the Division of Elections will be able to join collective bargaining units. DAVID KOIVUNIEMI, Acting Director of the Division of Elections, responds that no employees will be able to join a collective bargaining unit. SENATOR DUNCAN asks if presently employees of the Division of Elections are members of collective bargaining units. Number 588 MR. KOIVUNIEMI responds, "No." Presently, all employees of the division are in the exempt service. The amendment would retain employees in the exempt service, however, they would be granted some protections. TAPE 95-18, SIDE B Number 591 MR. KOIVUNIEMI states that the status of directors and supervisors would not change at all. However, other full-time employees of the division would have some protections and could only have employment terminated for cause. There would be a grievance procedure, and the department would be able to have a probationary period. The main objective is to prohibit what occurred in the division four years ago, when the whole division was wiped out. Number 581 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks what the Lieutenant Governor Ulmer's position is on SB 146. MR. KOIVUNIEMI replies that the lieutenant governor supports the amendments. SENATOR DUNCAN asks if the lieutenant governor supports the bill. MR. KOIVUNIEMI responds that the only sections Lieutenant Governor Ulmer has not endorsed are those relating to the placement of names on the primary election ballot by party petition. She is taking a neutral position on that section. Number 560 SENATOR LEMAN asks which amendment repeals paying $0.50 for each voter registration. MR. KOIVUNIEMI replies it is in amendment #1. That has not been a cost-efficient program. For example, in March of 1995, we paid registrars a total of $74.50. The administration cost for doing so was about $200 just for computer time; that does not include staff time. With mandatory voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles and several other state agencies, we have registered over 19,900 voters just since January 1st of this year. We are also working with the Permanent Fund Dividend Division to develop voter registration on pfd applications. SENATOR LEMAN asks if the division supports the section relating to rotation of names. MR. KOIVUNIEMI responds that the division does support that section. It is estimated that provision will save about $105,000. Number 528 SENATOR DUNCAN asks if there have been studies that show whether or not rotating names on the ballot has an effect on how people vote. MR. KOIVUNIEMI replies that in the studies he has seen, there appears to be an impact in non-partisan, low-profile races, such as water district board elections. In those types of races, it is usually the first and last position on the ballot that get the most votes. But in higher profile races, from city council on up, there is no discernable impact related to placement of names on the ballot. Number 515 [There is a general discussion regarding the ballot rotation process.] SENATOR LEMAN, SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS, and SENATOR DUNCAN all express concern about changing the ballot rotation process. Number 428 SENATOR DUNCAN makes a motion to adopt amendment #1. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, states amendment #1 has been adopted. Number 422 SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to adopt amendment #2. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, states amendment #2 has been adopted. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to adopt amendment #3. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, states amendment #3 has been adopted. Number 406 CHAIRMAN SHARP expresses concern regarding Section 17. MR. KOIVUNIEMI responds that section states that petition candidates will have to appear on the primary election ballot, and not just on the general election ballot. CHAIRMAN SHARP, after hearing that explanation, states he has no further concern with Section 17. SENATOR DUNCAN asks what happens if a candidate dies after the primary election. MR. KOIVUNIEMI replies that it depends on when they die: if a candidate dies more than 48 days before the general election, then their name will be removed from the ballot. A political party can make a substitution to a race for specific reasons, such as the death, resignation, withdrawal, disqualification, etcetera, of a candidate. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to delete Section 7. Number 365 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, states Section 7 has been deleted. Number 362 SENATOR LEMAN asks if there is a specific reason to require the ballots to be printed on white paper. MR. KOIVUNIEMI responds that is what is required in the general election. SENATOR LEMAN understands that the ballots should be the same color, but asks if there is any reason to specify white. Is it less expensive? BARB WHITING, Division of Elections replies it is probably cheaper and easier to read. SENATOR LEMAN asks, if there is an off-white, recycled paper that is cheaper than white paper, would the division be able to use the recycled paper? MR. KOIVUNIEMI replies the division would consider something like that to be white. SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to discharge SB 146 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 345 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SB 146 released from committee with individual recommendations. SSTA - 4/13/95 HB 173 REPORTS TO THE LEGISLATURE SENATOR SHARP brings up HB 173 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 341 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS, prime sponsor of HB 173, reads the sponsor statement for the bill. Number 293 SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to discharge HB 173 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 291 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders HB 173 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 280 CHAIRMAN SHARP adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting at 4:48 p.m.