Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/25/1997 03:35 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                 SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                
                       February 25, 1997                                       
                           3:35 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Lyda Green, Chairman                                                  
 Senator Jerry Ward, Vice-Chairman                                             
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Jerry Mackie                                                          
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 77                                                            
 "An Act relating to the Alaska Day of Prayer."                                
  - MOVED SB 77 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                               
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 2(FIN)                                                  
 "An Act allowing, for the purposes of permanent fund dividend                 
 eligibility, an individual to accompany, as the spouse or minor or            
 disabled dependent, another eligible resident who is absent for any           
 of the following reasons:  vocational, professional, or other                 
 specific education for which a comparable program is not reasonably           
 available in the state; secondary or postsecondary education;                 
 military service; medical treatment; service in the Congress or in            
 the peace corps; to care for the individual's terminally ill                  
 parent, spouse, sibling, child, or stepchild; for up to 220 days to           
 settle the estate of the individual's deceased parent, spouse,                
 sibling, child, or stepchild; to care for a parent, spouse,                   
 sibling, child, or stepchild with a critical life-threatening                 
 illness whose treatment plan, as recommended by the attending                 
 physician, requires travel outside of the state for treatment at a            
 medical specialty complex; or other reasons that the commissioner             
 of revenue may establish by regulation; requiring, for the purposes           
 of permanent fund dividend eligibility, a state resident to have              
 the intent to remain indefinitely; relating to the eligibility for            
 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 permanent fund dividends of            
 certain spouses and dependents of eligible applicants; and                    
 providing for an effective date."                                             
  - MOVED CSHB2(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 75(L&C)                                                
 "An Act relating to the regulation of accountants; and providing              
 for an effective date."                                                       
  - MOVED CSSB75(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                         
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 4                                                             
 "An Act relating, for purposes of eligibility for a permanent fund            
 dividend, to an absence from the state while on an unpaid                     
 sabbatical under the longevity bonus program; and providing for an            
 effective date."                                                              
  - SCHEDULED, BUT NOT HEARD                                                   
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SB 77 - No previous action to consider.                                       
                                                                               
 HB 2 - See State Affairs Committee minutes dated 2/20/97.                     
                                                                               
 SB 75 - See Labor and Commerce Committee minutes dated 2/11/97.               
                                                                               
 SB 4 - See State Affairs Committee minutes dated 2/20/97.                     
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Mr. Joe Ambrose, Staff                                                        
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 State Capitol Bldg.                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99811-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 77.                                    
                                                                               
 Mr. Scott Hamann                                                              
 P.O. Box 934                                                                  
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 77.                                       
                                                                               
 Ms. Virginia Phillips                                                         
 404 Lake St., 2-D                                                             
 Sitka, AK 99835                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 77.                                       
                                                                               
 Mr. Tim Benintendi, Staff                                                     
 Senator Tim Kelly                                                             
 State Capitol Bldg.                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99811-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Read sponsor statement to SB 75.                       
                                                                               
 Mr. Charles Griffin                                                           
 P.O. Box 670                                                                  
 Palmer, AK 99645                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 75.                                       
                                                                               
 Mr. Brad Shaffer                                                              
 429 Katlian St.                                                               
 Sitka, AK 99835                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 75.                                       
                                                                               
 Ms. Catherine Reardon, Director                                               
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110806                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0806                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 75.                                       
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 97-5, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
                  SB  77 ALASKA DAY OF PRAYER                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN  called the Senate State Affairs Committee to order            
 at 3:35 p.m. and brought up  SB 77  as the first order of business.           
                                                                               
  MR. JOE AMBROSE,  staff to Senator Taylor, prime sponsor, said the           
 first Thursday in May is the national day of prayer as recognized             
 by Congress.  Passage of SB 77 would establish the first Thursday             
 of May as a corresponding state day of prayer in Alaska.  He quoted           
 Thomas Jefferson who said, "A man's natural right to religious                
 expression is not in opposition to his political function."                   
                                                                               
 Number 47                                                                     
                                                                               
  MR. SCOTT HAMANN  said he strongly supported this bill.                      
                                                                               
  MS. VIRGINIA PHILLIPS  testified that she supported SB 77.  Many             
 states have such legislation and other states are considering it.             
 Only concerted prayer can overcome the problems of the Alaskan                
 elderly, multiple abortions, low high-school graduation rates,                
 violence, and lack of funds and help us to enter the new century              
 with pride.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 107                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER  moved to pass SB 77 from committee with individual           
 recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.             
           HB   2 PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND ELIGIBILITY                          
                                                                              
  CHAIRMAN GREEN  announced  CS  HB 2(FIN)    to be up for consideratio        
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  moved to pass CSHB 2(FIN) from committee with                  
 individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.  There were             
 no objections and it was so ordered.                                          
                SB  75 REGULATION OF ACCOUNTANTS                              
                                                                              
  CHAIRMAN GREEN  announced  SB 75  to be up for consideration.                
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER  moved to adopt the Lauterbach 2/18/97 B version of           
 SB 75.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                       
                                                                               
 Number 140                                                                    
                                                                               
  MR. TIM BENINTENDI,  staff to Senator Kelly, said that SB 75 would           
 change the application criteria for those taking the Alaska CPA               
 examination which is given every May and November.  It would not              
 change the test itself, or the licensing criteria.                            
                                                                               
 SB 75 is needed because there have been dramatic increases in the             
 number of foreign non-resident applicants who have recently come to           
 Alaska to take the test.  Many of those applicants have no                    
 accounting background and do not live or practice in Alaska.                  
                                                                               
 Concerns have arisen for the integrity of Alaska's exam process and           
 for the security of the exam itself.  Currently Alaska's criteria             
 for the application process is the lowest in the country and merely           
 requires a baccalaureate degree in any field.  MR. BENINTENDI                 
 referenced last year's numbers for applicants: 75 - 100 test takers           
 compared to 507 in this past November alone.                                  
                                                                               
 The costs of exams are designed to break even.  SB 75 requires a              
 minimum of academic course work in college level accounting, one              
 year of public accounting experience under the direct supervision             
 of a CPA, or the near-completion of a degree in accounting.                   
                                                                               
 MR. BENINTENDI said that Section 2 of the bill addresses an                   
 unrelated issue but it is an issue that must be resolved in                   
 statute.  Section 2 allows the professional use of a designation              
 "EA" by enrolled agents, those unlicensed accountants or tax                  
 practitioners enrolled by the IRS to engage in tax-related                    
 business.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SB 75 is supported by the State Board of Accountancy, the Society             
 of CPAs, and the Alaska Society of Independent Accountants.                   
                                                                               
 Number 195                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR GREEN  asked how the changes will affect foreign applicants.         
 MR. BENINTENDI explained most foreign applicants don't have a                 
 background in accounting.  Instituting the new requirements will              
 remove casual applicants from the market.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 212                                                                    
                                                                               
  MR. CHUCK GRIFFIN,  a Palmer CPA, said he has served on the State            
 Board of Public Accountancy for seven years.  As a result of the              
 burden placed on the Board of Accountancy and the administrative              
 staff at the Division of Occupational Licensing, he requested this            
 bill from Senator Kelly.  He supported Mr. Benintendi's testimony             
 and said no one wants to take anything away from any foreign                  
 candidates who have passed parts of the examination under prior               
 standards.  Those applicants would be able to continue the testing            
 process.                                                                      
                                                                               
  MR. BRAD SHAFFER  said he supported SB 75 as amended.                        
                                                                               
 Number 266                                                                    
                                                                               
  MS CATHERINE REARDON,  Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,         
 said she supported SB 75.                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  moved to pass CSSB 75(STA) from committee with                 
 individual recommendations with the accompanying $0 fiscal notes.             
 There were no objections and it was so ordered.                               
  CHAIRMAN GREEN  adjourned the meeting at 3:53 p.m.                           
                                                                               

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