Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/02/1995 03:36 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               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.                                                                  
                                                                               

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