Legislature(1995 - 1996)
05/02/1995 03:36 PM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE May 2, 1995 3:36 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 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9(JUD) Requesting the governor to file suit in the United States Supreme Court against the United States government alleging violations of the civil rights of Americans listed as prisoners of war or missing in action in Southeast Asia, demanding that documents concerning these individuals be released; and requesting the other states to join in this suit. CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 10(STA) am "An Act relating to payment for emergency services responding to certain motor vehicle accidents." HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 39 Relating to the Northern Sea Route. SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 3 Relating to the conversion of the Naval Air Facility in Adak. SENATE BILL NO. 163 "An Act approving the University of Alaska's plans to enter into long-term obligations to borrow money from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation for the acquisition of student housing facilities; and providing for an effective date." SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 14 Endorsing a proposal by which the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, under provisions of law by which the corporation may exercise its powers to complete moderate income and rental housing, will make interest-subsidized loans for the construction of student housing facilities at certain campuses of the University of Alaska, and relating to an agreement between the parties respecting the initiation of student housing on certain campuses of the University of Alaska. SENATE BILL NO. 118 "An Act relating to credits against certain taxes for contributions to certain public educational radio and television networks and stations; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HJR 9 - No previous senate committee action. HB 10 - No previous senate committee action. HJR 39 - No previous senate committee action. SR 3 - No previous senate committee action. SB 163 - No previous senate committee action. SCR 14 - No previous senate committee action. SB 118 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/20/95 and 4/27/95. WITNESS REGISTER Representative Jeannette James State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HJR 9 Don Nelson P.O. Box 0, North Pole, AK 99705¶488-9494 POSITION STATEMENT: gives testimony favorable to HJR 9 Ladd McBride P.O. Box 83567, Fairbanks, AK 99705¶479-8096 POSITION STATEMENT: supports HJR 9 Gary Tyndall P.O. Box 82977, Fairbanks, AK 99708¶488-1143 POSITION STATEMENT: supports HJR 9 Nancy Gourley 1802 4th Ave., Kenai, AK 99611¶283-2208 POSITION STATEMENT: supports HJR 9 Jack Hetherton P.O. Box 2376, Soldotna, AK 99669¶262-5455 POSITION STATEMENT: supports HJR 9 Shannon McCarthy, Aide to Representative Davies State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-4457 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HB 10 Dave Tyler, Alaska State Fire Chief's Association 1610 Hans Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709¶479-5672 POSITION STATEMENT: supports HB 10 Wayne Maloney, Aide to Representative Barnes & House WTR Cmte State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-3438 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HJR 39 Sherman Ernouf, Aide to Senator Kelly State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-3822 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SR 3 Josh Fink, Aide to Senator Kelly State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-3822 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SB 163 & SCR 14 Dan Fauske, Chief Executive Officer Alaska Housing Finance Corporation P.O. Box 101020, Anchorage, AK 99510-1020¶564-9326 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 163 Wendy Redman, Vice President University of Alaska P.O. Box 155000, Fairbanks, AK 99775¶474-7311 POSITION STATEMENT: supports SB 163 Senator John Torgerson State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-2828 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SB 118 Bob Bartholomew, Deputy Director Income & Excise Audit Division Department of Revenue P.O. Box 110420, Juneau, AK 99811-0420¶465-4773 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 118 ACTION NARRATIVE SSTA - 5/2/95 TAPE 95-22, SIDE A Number 001 HJR 9 SUIT RE POWS & MIAS AGAINST U.S. & OTHERS CHAIRMAN SHARP calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at 3:36 p.m. and brings up HJR 9 as the first order of business before the committee. The chairman calls the first witness. Number 017 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, prime sponsor of HJR 9, relays information contained in the sponsor statement. HJR 9 requests the governor to file suit in the U.S. Supreme Court against the United States Government, alleging violations of the civil rights of Americans listed as prisoners of war or missing in action in Southeast Asia. Representative James urges the committee to take action on HJR 9. Number 055 DON NELSON, WWII POW, testifying from Fairbanks, gives testimony favorable to HJR 9. Number 085 LADD MCBRIDE, Chairman, Interior Alaska Veterans' Committee, testifying from Fairbanks, states the veteran's committee unanimously supports HJR 9. Number 100 GARY TYNDALL, testifying from Fairbanks, states he supports HJR 9 and asks for the committee's endorsement. He thinks there are still American prisoners in Southeast Asia who were left behind at the end of the war. Number 160 NANCY GOURLEY, testifying from Soldotna, states her brother is mia in Laos. Ms. Gourley states that for family members of mia's, all other courses of action have been exhausted. SENATOR LEMAN notes that the legislature is moving fairly quickly in acting on HJR 9. He does not see any reason for holding action on HJR 9. Number 217 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks Ms. Gourley what her brother's name is. MS. GOURLEY responds her brother's name is Gregory Steven Crandall. His home state is Washington. Number 230 JACK HETHERTON, Commander, VFW Post 10,046 - Soldotna, testifying from Soldotna, states he is a combat veteran with two tours duty in Vietnam. Mr. Hetherton states he supports HJR 9. Number 273 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge HJR 9 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders HJR 9 released from committee with individual recommendations. SSTA - 5/2/95 HB 10 PAYMENT OF COSTS OF DWI ACCIDENTS SENATOR SHARP brings up HB 10 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 280 SHANNON MCCARTHY, Aide to Representative Davies, prime sponsor of HB 10, reads the sponsor statement. HB 10 would require convicted DWI offenders who cause an accident to pay for emergency services that respond to that accident. Number 305 DAVE TYLER, Alaska State Fire Chief's Association, testifying from Fairbanks, states accident rescue is expensive and hazardous to responders, and he supports HB 10. CHAIRMAN SHARP states he is familiar with the work of rescue personnel, as his daughter was an EMT with the University Fire Department in Fairbanks for two years. SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to discharge HB 10 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 342 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders HB 10 released from committee with individual recommendations. SSTA - 5/2/95 HJR 39 NORTHERN SEA ROUTE DEVELOPMENT SENATOR SHARP brings up HJR 39 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 350 WAYNE MALONEY, Aide to the Special Committee on World Trade & State & Federal Relations, reads a written statement relaying information on HJR 39 to the committee. HJR 39 supports international shipping along the Northern Sea Route. Opening the Northern Sea Route would cut the shipping distance for Alaska cargo bound for Europe by up to 60%. It is also the shortest route to London from all ports north of Hong Kong. HJR 39 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives last month. SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to discharge HJR 39 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 380 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders HJR 39 released from committee with individual recommendations. SSTA - 5/2/95 SR 3 CONVERSION OF ADAK NAVAL AIR FACILITY SENATOR SHARP brings up SR 3 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 383 SHERMAN ERNOUF, Aide to Senator Kelly, prime sponsor of SR 3, informs the committee that SR 3 would encourage the federal government to allow the facilities at Adak to be used for the long- term benefits of the state and for the benefit of the people in the Western Aleutians. Number 397 SENATOR LEMAN asked if SR 3 would preclude using the facilities at Adak for a correctional facility. MR. ERNOUF responds that has been one of the possible uses discussed for the facilities. The concern is that the buildings may be jeopardized during the closure process if they are not maintained. Number 407 SENATOR LEMAN asks if the process includes provisions for maintaining the property. MR. ERNOUF responds it does. The Aleut Corporation is over-signed on the land, so if the federal government decides not to use it, they will come into ownership of it. Until that time, we are asking the federal government and the Department of Defense to take care of the buildings. SENATOR LEMAN asks if there will be a time, because of Adak's strategic location, that the base would ever have to be reactivated. MR. ERNOUF replies he cannot answer that question. He assumes that the Base Realignment and Closure Commission would take strategic importance into consideration. But he does not know what arrangements they make for the possibility of reopening a site. Number 422 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SR 3 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SR 3 released from committee with individual recommendations. SSTA - 5/2/95 SB 163 APPROVE U OF A DEBT FOR STUDENT HOUSING SENATOR SHARP brings up SB 163 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. JOSH FINK, Aide to Senator Kelly, prime sponsor of SB 163, states he will testify on SB 163 and SCR 14 at the same time, since they are on the same subject. Both pieces of legislation have been introduced to deal with the shortage of student housing in the University of Alaska system. The three campuses with serious housing shortages are Anchorage, Juneau, and Ketchikan. The University, a number of legislators, and AHFC have been working together to establish a loan agreement to meet the university's housing needs. AHFC's mission is to help meet the housing needs of persons with low to moderate income, and most students are in that group. Mr. Fink thinks this agreement will be beneficial to all parties involved. Number 467 SENATOR LEMAN asks, based on today's market rate for bonding, what subsidy the university will be receiving at 3%. Number 470 MR. FINK responds there is a spreadsheet in members' bill packets showing that information. DAN FAUSKE, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, thinks the subsidy will be about $10,000,000 over the life of the bond, which will be 25 years. SENATOR LEMAN asks if this will commit the legislature to keeping AHFC as an entity for 25 years. CHAIRMAN SHARP responds that it would not do so any more than any other bond issue does. The chairman asks Mr. Fauske to give a brief outline regarding SB 163 and SCR 14. Number 492 MR. FAUSKE responds the loan would be a subsidized 3% loan, based on a 6% coupon rate on the bonds for the life of the bonds. Under this scenario, the principal of the debt would be paid by housing, food service, and other fees generated by the university. SENATOR LEMAN asks what the figure identified as $1,200,000 private gift is. MR. FINK replies that the intent is to solicit private funds. Number 513 WENDY REDMAN, Vice President, University of Alaska, states the university strongly supports student housing. SB 163 is integrally linked with SB 143, which is currently in the Senate Finance Committee. SB 143 provides for AHFC transfer agreements. AHFC has made it clear to the university that they will not be in any position to follow through on SB 163, unless AHFC's assets are protected. CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks bonding for student housing is a great possibility. He does not need to be convinced, but there are others who still need convincing. Number 537 SENATOR LEMAN informs Ms. Redman that he has been supportive of the university in the past, but when things like the Judge Greene decision and the recent student vote on the Anchorage campus happen, it causes him to question whether supporting the university is the right thing to do. If he is to continue to support the university, he would desire that those types of things not represent the university policy, or for that matter, even the bulk of the students attending the university. If that is true he would be the first to bail out and invest the money somewhere else. Number 548 MS. REDMAN responds that if Senator Leman finds a way to possibly control the courts in Alaska, she would be very interested in pursuing that with him. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS says the court system's budget could be cut. CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks the legislature will have to look at some of the smaller campuses, and decide if operating those campuses are cost effective. Number 566 SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to discharge SB 163 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SB 163 released from committee with individual recommendations. SB 118 TAX CREDIT: GIFTS TO PUBLIC BROADCASTING SENATOR SHARP brings up SB 118 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 579 SENATOR JOHN TORGERSON, prime sponsor of SB 118, compares the original version of SB 118 to version O. Version O adds an endowment for educational radio and tv as a recipient of the credits, increases the amount to a maximum of $350,000, precludes claims for contributions as both credits and deductions against taxes, establishes tax credits against the insurance premium tax, title insurance premiums, the fisheries resource landing tax, and sunsets after five years. The main difference between version O and the house version of this bill is that version O eliminates taking 50-50 from the state and the municipalities. TAPE 95-22, SIDE B Number 589 SENATOR LEMAN comments the state pays for everything over $100,000 in contributions. He states he cannot support a 100% credit. The state might as well just budget it. CHAIRMAN SHARP comments he resents that large corporations have the privilege of directing where their taxes will be spent, but individuals cannot do that. The chairman states he really has a problem with that. Number 569 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS directs the chairman's attention to page 2, line 4, which would allow individuals to take a tax credit towards state income taxes, if and when state income taxes are reimplemented. CHAIRMAN SHARP states he is uncomfortable with the fact that only the state participates in giving a tax credit. He would not want to mandate local participation, but giving 100% tax credits basically circumvents legislative oversight of the use of taxes. Number 547 SENATOR LEMAN states he also has a proposed committee substitute for SB 118, version M. Tax credits could also be taken for contributions to K-12 education in Alaska. Tax credits taken could not exceed $200,000. Number 515 BOB BARTHOLOMEW, Deputy Director, Division of Income & Excise Audit, Department of Revenue, informs the committee that some of the taxes do apply to the insurance provision. It is his understanding that the education credit does. Work draft version O does include the insurance provision. CHAIRMAN SHARP asks Mr. Bartholomew if he has any estimate on what the maximum exposure would be for taking tax credits. MR. BARTHOLOMEW responds that in the original version of SB 118, the fiscal note showed an impact to revenue of about $845,000. Number 497 SENATOR LEMAN states he would like to amend the bill to include the insurance premium tax, just to be consistent. Number 463 MR. BARTHOLOMEW comments that the Attorney General's Office recommends, in regards to version M, that the fish landing tax be included. The reason for this is there is a challenge to that tax in the court system asking that all taxes be treated the same. Number 445 SENATOR LEMAN states he would be willing to add that amendment to the version he is supporting. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to adopt version O. Objection is heard and the roll is called. The motion fails 2 yeas, 2 nays, and 1 absent. Voting in favor of adopting version O are Senators Phillips and Duncan. Voting in opposition are Senators Sharp and Leman. Senator Donley is not present. SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to adopt version M with a conceptual amendment to add a tax credit against the insurance premium tax. SENATOR DUNCAN objects. CHAIRMAN SHARP asks Senator Duncan if he is objecting to the conceptual amendment regarding the insurance premium tax, or objecting to the whole motion. SENATOR DUNCAN states he objects to the whole thing. SENATOR LEMAN asks Senator Duncan if he is objecting to tax credits for donations to education. SENATOR DUNCAN replies he is objecting to education. CHAIRMAN SHARP notes this vote will determine whether or not SB 118 lives to fight another day. Hearing no further discussion on the motion, the chairman asks the secretary to call the roll. The roll is taken with the following result, and the motion fails 2 yeas, 2 nays, and 1 absent. Voting in favor of adopting version M are Senators Sharp and Leman. Voting in opposition are Senators Phillips and Duncan. Senator Donley is not present. CHAIRMAN SHARP adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting at 4:40 p.m.