Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/30/1996 03:30 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                
                        January 30, 1996                                       
                           3:30 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 BILL NO. 219                                                           
 "An Act relating to the disposal of firearms and ammunition by the            
 state or a municipality."                                                     
 SENATE BILL NO. 141                                                           
 "An Act relating to legislative ethics; and providing for an                  
 effective date."                                                              
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 219 - no previous senate committee action.                                 
 SB 141 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/20/95 and 4/27/95.                 
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶(907)465-4976                       
   POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SB 219                                 
 Gretchen Pence, Special Assistant to the Commissioner                         
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 111200, Juneau, AK 99811-1200¶(907)465-4322                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: SB 219 is unnecessary                                   
 Margie MacNeille, Chair                                                       
 Legislative Ethics Committee                                                  
 P.O. Box 101468, Anchorage, AK 99501-1468¶(907)258-8172                       
   POSITION STATEMENT:                                                         
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
        SB 219 DISPOSAL OF FIREARMS BY PUBLIC AGENCIES                       
 TAPE 96-5, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP called the Senate State Affairs Committee to order             
 at 3:30 p.m. and brought up SB 219 as the first order of business             
 before the committee.  The chairman called the prime sponsor to               
 Number 015                                                                    
 SENATOR MIKE MILLER, prime sponsor of SB 219, informed the                    
 committee that last June the Department of Administration decided             
 to destroy excess handguns that were either acquired through                  
 confiscation or were surplus from the Department of Corrections or            
 Department of Public Safety.  Past practice was to dispose of these           
 weapons through the Surplus Property Program.  SB 219 would make              
 the state dispose of excess firearms through firearms dealers.                
 Senator Miller relayed information contained in his sponsor                   
 statement.  He thinks the current practice of destroying weapons              
 appears to be a philosophical bent against firearms.                          
 Number 075                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked what the normal process is for                   
 disposing of seized or surplus property.  He asked if other seized            
 property, such as boats and cars, are ever destroyed.                         
 Number 082                                                                    
 GRETCHEN PENCE, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department             
 of Public Safety (DPS), stated that seized property is sometimes              
 returned to the owner.  As a routine, that property is routinely              
 turned over to the Department of Administration (DOA) for disposal.           
 DPS does not auction or dispose of property.                                  
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked what the general policy is for dealing           
 with disposal of property.  He wants to know if firearms are                  
 singled out for destruction.                                                  
 MS. PENCE responded that property is destroyed for health and                 
 safety reasons.                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS thinks it sounds like the current firearms             
 policy is an exception to the rule in terms of disposal of                    
 property.  He asked Ms. Pence if perfectly good vehicles are                  
 MS. PENCE replied that, to her knowledge, they do not.                        
 Number 127                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asked Ms. Pence for the administration's position.             
 MS. PENCE responded that the administration's position is that                
 confiscated and surplus firearms will not be resold to the public.            
 Number 168                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asked if the administration's position on SB 219 was           
 that they opposed it.                                                         
 MS. PENCE replied the administration's position is that the bill is           
 not necessary.  There is a policy in place that deals with the                
 disposal of these firearms.                                                   
 Number 173                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asked for the reasoning behind the administration's             
 policy: it doesn't make sense to him that the state would destroy             
 those resources.                                                              
 MS. PENCE responded it is the administration's position that it               
 should not be in the business of reselling handguns to the public.            
 Number 203                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN doesn't disagree that the state shouldn't be in the             
 retail business, but the state is involved in many other                      
 businesses.  It seems to be an inconsistent application of policy             
 regarding disposal of excess property.                                        
 Number 220                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS agreed with Senator Leman that the                     
 administration's policy seems inconsistent.  He views these                   
 firearms as another piece of property seized by the state.  It                
 sounds to him as though firearms are being singled out.                       
 Number 240                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY commented that he has heard that one of the excuses            
 given for destroying saturday night specials is that they are                 
 inexpensive.  He finds that argument extremely objectionable: the             
 second amendment of the United States Constitution protects poor              
 people as well as rich people.  Poor people should have access to             
 firearms for protection, as well as rich people.                              
 SENATOR LEMAN noted that a very well-qualified firearms collector             
 viewed the collection of guns destroyed by the state, and there               
 were some real treasures destroyed.                                           
 SENATOR LEMAN made a motion to discharge SB 219 from the Senate               
 State Affairs Committee with accompanying fiscal notes from the               
 Department of Public Safety and the Department of Community &                 
 Regional Affairs with individual recommendations.                             
 Number 265                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, ordered SB 219 released from            
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
                  SB 141 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                  
 Number 270                                                                    
 SENATOR SHARP brought up SB 141 as the next order of business                 
 before the Senate State Affairs Committee and called Ms. MacNeille            
 to testify.                                                                   
 Number 287                                                                    
 MARGIE MACNEILLE, Chair, Legislative Ethics Committee, testifying             
 from Anchorage, noted that an analysis of SB 141 prepared by the              
 Ethics Committee was submitted to the Senate State Affairs                    
 Committee.  (Ms. MacNeille's testimony was mostly unintelligible              
 due to bad teleconference transmission.)                                      
 CHAIRMAN SHARP informed Ms. MacNeille that her testimony was                  
 cutting in and out.  He asked if she was commenting on the State              
 Affairs Committee substitute, work draft "m" of SB 141.                       
 MS. MACNEILLE stated she could work from the committee substitute,            
 if the committee would prefer that.                                           
 CHAIRMAN SHARP said they would prefer that.                                   
 Number 350                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asked if the committee substitute incorporates                 
 additions Ms. MacNeille has not reviewed.                                     
 MS. MACNEILLE responded it is her understanding that the only                 
 differences between the two versions are technical changes.                   
 Neither includes the four amendments that the Ethics Committee is             
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated this is the first opportunity the committee             
 has had to discuss the amendments proposed by the Ethics Committee.           
 The State Affairs Committee members have those proposed amendments            
 in their bill packets.                                                        
 Number 365                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE started from the beginning again on the sectional               
 analysis of SB 141, which is contained in member's bill packets.              
 Number 380                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked Ms. MacNeille to go into more detail on the              
 sectional analysis.                                                           
 MS. MACNEILLE stated that Section 5 concerns legislative employees            
 who also wish to participate in campaign activities.  It would                
 address the public perception that the campaign employee is being             
 paid by the State of Alaska to engage in that activity.                       
 Number 404                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if it would be beneficial, regarding that                 
 requirement, for the employee to keep a time record of their                  
 MS. MACNEILLE stated the committee has discussed but has not chosen           
 to impose any kind of time card or fixed schedule.  From the                  
 legislator's point of view, there is a lot to be said in terms of             
 self defense for recording that information.                                  
 Number 422                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asked how the committee views pseudo-legislative                
 MS. MACNEILLE responded the committee hasn't addressed anything               
 that's come to such a fine line.  If people have  questions                   
 regarding specific circumstances, they can consult the committee.             
 Number 440                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN thinks it's important that it is clearly defined what           
 appropriate activities are.                                                   
 MS. MACNEILLE noted that the Ethics Committee gets a lot of                   
 inquiries about whether a particular activity is appropriate or               
 Number 450                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis of SB 141.                
 Number 468                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked for an example of the type of situation                  
 described in Section 10.                                                      
 MS. MACNEILLE replied that it would violate a person's privacy to             
 have to disclose a benefit received under the Violent Crimes                  
 Compensation act.                                                             
 SENATOR DONLEY asked Ms. MacNeille to explain Section 11.                     
 Number 483                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE replied, "If the committee issued a protective order            
 about certain material collected during a complaint investigation,            
 and that material would be appropriately disclosed to the subject             
 of the complaint under discovery, would be able to make sure that             
 the subject of the complaint didn't disclose that to the public if            
 it would interfere with various privacy concerns of the people the            
 information was about."                                                       
 Number 490                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked Ms. MacNeille to give a more in-depth                    
 explanation.  Under the legislative ethics system, the only                   
 restraint is on the subject of the complaint.  He wants to know how           
 Section 11 would add to that restraint.                                       
 Number 497                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE stated she would give a hypothetical situation that             
 might make that more clear.  "In the course of the investigation,             
 sensitive material about a minor or private information about a               
 witnesses conduct or prior history might be discovered by the                 
 committee.  It would also be available to the subject of the                  
 complaint under discovery.  The complainant, assuming the                     
 complainant was not a witness, or the person directly involved in             
 the complaint, wouldn't know about it.  But the subject, by taking            
 that material to the press might be able to injure or intimidate              
 witnesses that the committee had interviewed.  So we wanted to be             
 able to issue a protective order that prevented the subject of the            
 complaint from doing that, from embarrassing or intimidating                  
 witnesses by disclosing sensitive information about them."                    
 Number 515                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY expressed concern that the legislative ethics system           
 is already one-way.  Complainants can make their case in the press.           
 Now the committee is asking for powers to prevent the subject of              
 the complaint from defending themself in an open forum.  People               
 should be allowed to defend themselves in the forum that these                
 other people create.  If neither party goes to the press, then it             
 is better to be left with the ethics committee.                               
 Number 535                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP agreed with Senator Donley.                                    
 Number 537                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Ms. MacNeille what the reasoning was             
 behind Section 11.                                                            
 MS. MACNEILLE replied that material has been turned up in                     
 investigations that was sensitive and embarrassing to witnesses,              
 but not part of public defense or discussion of the case.  The                
 committee was concerned that the subjects right to discovery of               
 what the committee discussed would compromise the witnesses concern           
 for their privacy.                                                            
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked, if the complainant has a history of being a             
 haranguer, would the subject of the complaint be forbidden from               
 bringing that up?                                                             
 MS. MACNEILLE said, "Absolutely not.  Things that are already in              
 public are fine.  Even things that the committee might find in                
 investigations which have remained private and that aren't free, so           
 anything to do with the complainant, but might have to do with                
 innocent witnesses.  If it's relevant to the case, it's                       
 appropriately discoverable to the subject, but there are ancillary            
 parts of it that we're concerned about being blasted around in                
 public by the subject in an attempt to intimidate a witness."                 
 Number 565                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked, then why not just write that an attempt to              
 intimidate a witness is improper?  He certainly would not support             
 any intimidation of witnesses for an improper reason.  But at the             
 same time, you're limiting the freedom of speech rights of one                
 party, when the other party is completely unrestrained.  There is             
 a First Amendment question here, also.                                        
 CHAIRMAN SHARP added that is also his concern: that the complainant           
 might be the witness to whom you're referring.                                
 SENATOR DONLEY stated Section 11 would leave it completely to the             
 discretion of the committee to make that decision.  He thinks there           
 need to be more guidelines in that section.  Perhaps the law should           
 be directed more towards addressing the specific problem.  If                 
 someone uses their public position to improperly intimidate a                 
 witness, that should be a crime, not defending themselves, or               
 depriving their First Amendment and other constitutional rights to            
 defend themselves.  Everyone has the right to confront their                  
 accuser and to cross-examine their accusers and witnesses, within             
 appropriate context of what's relevant to the case.  If you go                
 beyond that, it's certainly inappropriate and should not be                   
 allowed.  We need to be careful not to limit the ability of people            
 to defend themselves.                                                         
 Number 582                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE responded that Section 11 would not limit anyone's              
 ability to defend themselves in a hearing before the committee.               
 This only discusses the other defense forum, which is in front of             
 the press.  In addition, it is only if a legislator violates a                
 protective order, which would be issued under the Alaska Rules of             
 Civil Procedure...                                                            
 TAPE 96-5, SIDE B                                                             
 ...to issue a protective order, a certain showing has to be made              
 that the information is sensitive and shouldn't be discussed.  This           
 kind of protective order is routinely issued in judicial                      
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if Ms. MacNeille meant civil or criminal                 
 MS. MACNEILLE responded she was referring to civil proceedings.               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated those proceedings are a lot different than              
 ethics complaints.  In typical ethics complaints in the Judicial              
 and Executive Branches, that information wouldn't be made public.           
 MS. MACNEILLE responded that the Legislative Ethics Committee                 
 procedures follow standard civil procedure.  She thinks there are             
 already safeguards built in to the process that would prevent                 
 Section 11 from being used in a way that would prevent a legislator           
 from appropriately defending themself, either in public or before             
 the committee.                                                                
 Number 576                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he would not have any concern about Section             
 11 if the trigger was whether or not the complainant had gone                 
 public, as is prohibited under the Judicial and Executive Branch              
 Acts.  He is concerned that civil procedure rules are being used to           
 determine an ethics complaint, which is very different.  He would             
 like this section tightened up to more precisely address the                  
 identified problem.                                                           
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked Ms. MacNeille if she has a problem with that.            
 MS. MACNEILLE replied, "If the committee [Senate State Affairs?]              
 would like us to try and tighten it up, we can try and tighten it             
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated the senator can work with the committee on              
 Number 566                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis of SB 141.                
 Number 559                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked Ms. MacNeille if, under Section 13, changes              
 would also refer to severing relationships with the employer or               
 adding a new employer.                                                        
 MS. MACNEILLE responded, "Yes."                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if changes in the agreement between the                  
 employer and the spouse would have to be reported.                            
 MS. MACNEILLE thinks that would relate to changes in the clientele.           
 Number 550                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS noted that last year he had an amendment               
 that would prohibit being married to a lobbyist.  Did the Ethics              
 Committee discuss that or receive public comment on that?                     
 MS. MACNEILLE responded the committee discussed that at their                 
 January 9th meeting, but the committee did not take a position.               
 The committee has not received any public comment on that.                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated he will offer that amendment again.             
 Number 544                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN stated he doesn't like the term "spousal equivalent";           
 he does not believe that person really is a spousal equivalent.  He           
 thinks it is a dangerous term to be using: it is suggesting                   
 equivalency.  Those who are not legally married are claiming rights           
 that go beyond the rights of marriage.  He will be prepared to                
 offer an amendment when the bill is taken up again.                           
 MS. MACNEILLE thinks the term is ungainly and unpleasant.  It would           
 be fine with her if Senator Leman can think of some other term to             
 SENATOR LEMAN stated he made a suggestion last year that was quite            
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis to SB 141.                
 Number 518                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Ms. MacNeille if Christmas bonuses               
 from employers to employees must be reported.                                 
 MS. MACNEILLE responded if it is part of your employee compensation           
 and shows up on a W2, then it's not really a gift.                            
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated the bonus to which he is referring              
 was a gift certificate.                                                       
 MS. MACNEILLE stated that gifts over the reporting threshold should           
 be reported.                                                                  
 Number 495                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis to SB 141.                
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Ms. MacNeille to explain Section 15.             
 MS. MACNEILLE replied, "...you can accept hospitality at the                  
 residence of a person.  The amendment is to say that, being offered           
 hospitality for two weeks at somebody's condo in Maui, that is not            
 their primary residence, doesn't count as hospitality at somebody's           
 home.  Using somebody's condo for two weeks in Hawaii would count             
 as a gift."                                                                   
 Number 470                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if he would be affected by letting lobbyists             
 stay at his house while they're visiting Juneau.                              
 MS. MACNEILLE responded there are no limitations on the generosity            
 of legislators.                                                               
 Number 460                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked what the effect would be if legislators were             
 invited to spend the night at a person's fishing lodge.  Would that           
 be a violation of the legislative ethics act.                                 
 MS. MACNEILLE thought that would not automatically be exempt as               
 hospitality in the person's home.  But it would most likely fall              
 under the $100 or $250 limit, or fit under some other exemption.              
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if this would prohibit spending the night                
 anywhere other than somebody's home someplace in Alaska.  Then the            
 fall-back is whether the value of that one-night stay was below the           
 gift value limit.                                                             
 MS. MACNEILLE thinks that kind of thing would generally be valued             
 at $25 a night.                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated, as an example, that about six years ago                
 there was a legislative retreat at Sam Cotten's place at Halibut              
 Cove.  He lives down there for the summer and fishes.  Under this             
 act, would that no longer be allowed?  Or would that fall under the           
 official state business exception.                                            
 MS. MACNEILLE replied that would probably be for legislative                  
 purposes.  Also, she is not familiar with Mr. Cotten's exact living           
 arrangements, but she thinks that probably counts as his residence,           
 during the summer anyway.                                                     
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he is just listing some examples.  He thinks            
 this might also limit visits between legislators.                             
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Ms. MacNeille what she is trying to do           
 with this provision.                                                          
 MS. MACNEILLE responded they're trying to avoid condos in Maui.               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if they are having a problem with                
 MS. MACNEILLE replied that there have been inquiries.                         
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked how many inquiries there have been.              
 MS. MACNEILLE responded there have been about ten inquiries.                  
 Number 418                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP commented that this provision really starts                    
 migrating into an area where most Alaskans share experiences in               
 hunting camps and lodges with people who have been your friends for           
 SENATOR DONLEY remarked that if the problem is condos in Maui,                
 perhaps we should specify "out of state".                                     
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks this provision would invite problems on                 
 something that's not a problem.                                               
 MS. MACNEILLE added that if it is a gift unrelated to legislative             
 status, that would be accepted.                                               
 Number 408                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE continued the sectional analysis of SB 141.                     
 Number 356                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked, under Section 19 (J) if there is a definition           
 of compensation as it appears on page 9, line 3.                              
 MS. MACNEILLE doesn't know.                                                   
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if there is exemption somewhere else for the             
 legislative intern program.                                                   
 MS. MACNEILLE replied there is a separate statute that addresses              
 the legislative intern program.                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated the way that is written, he would think it              
 could easily prohibit having student interns in offices.                      
 MS. MACNEILLE responded that U of A and JTPA interns are permitted            
 without a problem.                                                            
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if those are specifically identified by name             
 in another statute.                                                           
 MS. MACNEILLE replied that the U of A interns are.  The JTPA                  
 interns are covered by an advisory opinion.                                   
 SENATOR DONLEY asked what the difference would be between a                   
 scholarship situation and not receiving compensation from any                 
 MS. MACNEILLE responded the committee does not have a problem with            
 people who get scholarships or stipends for educational or work-              
 program reasons.                                                              
 SENATOR DONLEY stated that JTPA isn't limited to that.  They get              
 assistance from private parties.  It's a really good program; it's            
 what public-private partnership is all about.  But it would seem to           
 be directly in violation of the way this is written.                          
 Number 320                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE replied that the advisory opinion thought JTPA should           
 be encouraged, rather than discouraged.                                       
 SENATOR DONLEY agreed with that, and thinks it's a good advisory              
 opinion, but he thinks the language is problematic, and rather than           
 just relying on an advisory opinion, the language should be                   
 Number 310                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE suggested there could be an opportunity for the                 
 committee to waive the prohibition.                                           
 Number 306                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP knows of another example where that would be                   
 problematic.  In his community the NAACP financed a young man to              
 come down and work in the legislature as a legislative volunteer.             
 There are also scholarships and incentives from some of the native            
 corporations to have young people get involved in the legislature.            
 That would qualify as a volunteer service that they were being                
 compensated for from another person.  The chairman thinks those               
 types of things should be looked at; he would hate to block that              
 type of activity.                                                             
 Number 289                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis of SB 141.                
 Number 282                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY commented that when he was Judiciary Chair, he had             
 two committee secretaries who both had master's degrees.  He thinks           
 that under any argument here (Section 20), they certainly wouldn't            
 have been making secretarial wages.                                           
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis of SB 141.                
 Number 220                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked Ms. MacNeille why the committee would want to            
 exclude requestors of advisory opinions from the discussion.                  
 MS. MACNEILLE answered that the deliberative process has been                 
 conducted confidentially.  She thinks that is the most appropriate            
 way for the committee to act on a confidential matter.                        
 Number 205                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks that the person who initiates the request for           
 advice would certainly be a relevant part of the process in                   
 determining what the appropriate advice should be.                            
 Number 190                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE responded that the committee is not trying to close             
 off the opportunity for people requesting advisory opinions to tell           
 us whatever they want to tell us.  We're simply trying to retain              
 authority in circumstances we feel are necessary to deliberate by             
 Number 180                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY stated that to retain authority to exclude the                 
 person requesting advice from the discussion seems unneccesary.  He           
 would think the committee would want that person involved in that             
 discussion.  Unless the committee is scared to have the requestor             
 there for some reason.                                                        
 MS. MACNEILLE doesn't think the committee has been scared of                  
 anybody yet.                                                                  
 SENATOR DONLEY stated they would only come if they wanted to come.            
 If they want to come, why not let them.                                       
 MS. MACNEILLE replied that no requestor has ever shown up.                    
 SENATOR DONLEY said it sounds as if the committee has a policy of             
 telling requestors they can't come.  Your testimony was that you              
 were just going to put it into statute that they can't come.                  
 MS. MACNEILLE replied, "Not the discussion, but the final                     
 deliberations of the advisory opinion."                                       
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks it would be better public policy to encourage           
 requestors to participate.  It's not like they're doing something             
 wrong: they're actually seeking an opinion; they're doing the right           
 Number 158                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE responded that, from the public point of view, when             
 an advisory opinion is requested, there is a question as to whether           
 it is some kind of a done deal when the requestor and the Ethics              
 Committee to go into a closed-door session together.  She would be            
 happy to have the advisory opinion process entirely open.  That has           
 been done in a number of cases where requestors waived                        
 confidentiality.  There are circumstances appropriate for                     
 confidentiality, though.                                                      
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks the requestor should be included.                       
 MS. MACNEILLE responded it is just a question of the final                    
 SENATOR DONLEY commented it would be easier for the legislature               
 too, if they always held closed committee meetings and did their              
 final deliberations in secret, but they don't do that.  It's better           
 public policy to open it up.                                                  
 MS. MACNEILLE replied she would be happy to have the whole process            
 completely in public.  The question of where it's not, is when the            
 particular individual is given access to our deliberations where no           
 one else is.                                                                  
 Number 105                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY still thinks it would be good public policy to allow           
 those people to participate in that, no matter whether the meeting            
 is open or closed.                                                            
 MS. MACNEILLE responded that if the requestor of an advisory                  
 opinion had ever asked, they would have considered having them in.            
 This just prevents that person from requiring admittance.                     
 Number 090                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP announced that the committee will have to close the            
 meeting shortly, and that a continuation of this hearing will be              
 scheduled, possibly for February 6, 1996.  He asked Ms. MacNeille             
 to continue with the analysis.                                                
 Number 075                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis for SB 141.               
 Number 055                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asked Ms. MacNeille what if, to escape the                      
 prohibition in Section 29, the person was to file against 59                  
 legislators.  How would the committee respond to that.                        
 MS. MACNEILLE responded that Section 30 tries to address that too.            
 SENATOR LEMAN noted he sees Section 30, and probably should have              
 waited until she got to that section.                                         
 TAPE 96-6, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 MS. MACNEILLE continued with the sectional analysis of SB 141.                
 Number 006                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked Ms. MacNeille to stop at Section 30, and the             
 committee will continue on at Section 31 at a future meeting.                 
 Number 044                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP adjourned the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting           
 at 5:03 p.m.                                                                  

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