Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/19/2001 03:45 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                   
                  SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                                                              
                          April 19, 2001                                                                                        
                             3:45 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
Senator Gene Therriault, Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Randy Phillips, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Drue Pearce                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 187                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to absentee voting stations."                                                                                
     MOVED CSSB 187(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 177(STA)                                                                                                  
"An Act placing  certain special interest  organizations  within the                                                            
definition  of 'group'  for purposes  of Alaska's  campaign  finance                                                            
statutes; and  requiring disclosure  of the true source of  campaign                                                            
contributions."                                                                                                                 
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 193                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to a study of the economic and social effects of                                                               
the permanent fund dividend on the state."                                                                                    
     MOVED SB 193 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB 187 - No previous action recorded.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 177 - No previous action recorded.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SB 193 - No previous action recorded.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Loretta Brown                                                                                                                   
Staff for Senator Ward                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol, Room 423                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 187                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Gail Fenumiai                                                                                                                   
Election Program Specialist                                                                                                     
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                                                                               
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
P.O. Box 110017                                                                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99811-0017                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 187                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol, Room 204                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Co-sponsor of HB 177                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Brooke Miles                                                                                                                    
Assistant Director                                                                                                              
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Public Offices Commission                                                                                                       
2221 E. Northern Lights, Room 128                                                                                               
Anchorage, AK 99508-4149                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 177                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Steve Cleary                                                                                                                    
Alaska Public Interest Research Group                                                                                           
No address provided                                                                                                             
Anchorage LIO                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 177                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Kathryn Kurtz                                                                                                                   
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on SB 177                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Alaska State Capitol, Room 518                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Co-sponsor of SB 193                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-19, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN GENE THERRIAULT called the Senate State Affairs Committee                                                            
meeting to order at 3:45 p.m. Present were Senators Davis, Phillips                                                             
and Chairman Therriault.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The first order of business was SB 187.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
             SB 187-ABSENTEE AND SPECIAL NEEDS VOTING                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
LORETTA  BROWN, staff  to Senator  Ward, introduced  SB 187 for  the                                                            
sponsor. She read the following sponsor statement.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     This legislation  will require  the director of elections                                                                  
     to  notify the  voting public  of all absentee  in person                                                                  
     voting  locations at least 60  days prior to an election.                                                                  
     It will also provide a uniform  statewide opening date for                                                                 
     absentee  in person  voting.  Currently the  location  and                                                                 
     opening  periods for  absentee voting  stations is at  the                                                                 
     discretion  of the director of  the division of elections                                                                  
     and  requires  no public  notice. This  has  lead to  some                                                                 
      inconsistencies in opening dates and voting locations.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     SB  187 requires  that  the director  of the  division  of                                                                 
     elections  provide full public  notice of the location  of                                                                 
     all  absentee voting  stations at least  60 days prior  to                                                                 
     each election.  No new absentee voting station  sights may                                                                 
     be added or  opened after the 60-day notification  period.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Absentee voting stations  will be operated on or after the                                                                 
     15th day before  a primary, general, or special  election.                                                                 
     Qualified  voters  may apply  in  person for  an absentee                                                                  
     ballot  at the  absentee voting  station on  or after  the                                                                 
     15th day before  an election up to and including  the date                                                                 
     of  the  election.  Absentee  voting  stations  cannot  be                                                                 
     opened early.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Having  a  uniform  state  wide  opening  date  and  prior                                                                 
     notification  of all absentee  voting in person locations                                                                  
     will  make for less  confusion for the  voters and a  more                                                                 
     even playing field for all concerned.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Basically, the bill removes  the discretionary powers of opening and                                                            
closing  voting stations  from the  director of  elections and  sets                                                            
those times in statute.  In addition, voting stations are identified                                                            
60 days prior to elections  and new stations may not be opened after                                                            
that 60 day period passes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
On page  2, line  9, AS15.20.048(b)  is  referred to  and gives  the                                                            
director the discretionary  power to open the absentee stations more                                                            
than 15 days before  an election. The committee substitute  (CS) for                                                            
SB 187 removes this option altogether.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked  whether there were any questions on the J                                                            
version of the bill. There were none.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS  moved the  J version (Kurtz  4/19/01) as the  working                                                            
document. There was no objection.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT asked  whether  he was correct  in stating  the                                                            
director still has some  latitude on when the absentee stations open                                                            
so long as  there is the required  public notification and  they all                                                            
open up at the same time.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN said  that the bill says  stations may not be opened  more                                                            
than 15 days prior to an  election. It also requires prior notice so                                                            
all voters know where the voting station will be.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
GAIL FENUMIAI,  Election  Program  Specialist from  the Division  of                                                            
Elections,  wanted to clarify a number  of issues. The division  has                                                            
historically published  absentee voting locations  from one to three                                                            
weeks prior  to Election Day. For  general elections, locations  are                                                            
published  in  the official  election  pamphlet  and mailed  to  the                                                            
households of  all registered voters about three weeks  prior to the                                                            
election.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There are two types of  absentee in person voting. The first type is                                                            
through  an  absentee voting  station,  which  SB  187 specifically                                                             
addresses.  There were just  14 of those during  the primary  and 15                                                            
for  the general  election.  Stations  have  all 40  House  district                                                            
ballots  and  in the  last  primary  there were  the  four  regional                                                            
election  offices  in Juneau,  Anchorage,  Fairbanks  and Nome  that                                                            
served  as  absentee  voting  stations.   There  was  also  a  Kenai                                                            
Peninsula  office located  in Soldotna that  operated as a  station.                                                            
Access Alaska  operated as an absentee  voting station in  Anchorage                                                            
and there  was a station  in Prudhoe Bay  that was operational  four                                                            
days prior  to and through Election  Day. The University  of Alaska,                                                            
Anchorage, was  open the Monday before the election  and on Election                                                            
Day for the primary.  During the general election  the University of                                                            
Alaska, Fairbanks  was also open for voting during  that same period                                                            
of  time.  The  airports   at  Juneau,  Sitka,  Ketchikan,   Kodiak,                                                            
Anchorage  and Fairbanks are  all open on  Election Day to  serve as                                                            
absentee voting stations.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Other locations  are single district locations in  small communities                                                            
that have absentee  voting officials but generally  the only ballots                                                            
available are for that particular district.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The  reason  for starting  absentee  voting  early  in  the  general                                                            
election is  because they had statutory  authority to do  so and the                                                            
ballots  were  delivered   early.  People  called  with   unforeseen                                                            
circumstances  and asked whether they  could vote early.  Since they                                                            
had the ballots and the  statutory authority to allow individuals to                                                            
vote early they decided it was their duty to do so.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The division  feels that a newspaper  notice of 60 days is  too long                                                            
for people to  remember where the voting locations  will be. For the                                                            
August 22nd primary  the division advertised August  3rd through the                                                            
10th and then the following week.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked  whether there is a problem with setting a                                                            
certain date  so everyone  knows the date  the stations would  open.                                                            
Individuals going out of town could vote by mail.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI  said that's  correct  but  sometimes people  are  not                                                            
terribly  cooperative.  Historically,  they have  had no  difficulty                                                            
with all absentee in person  voting starting the 15th day before the                                                            
election. The  November election was a rare occurrence  in which the                                                            
ballots arrived eight days early.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  asked her  preference  on advance  notice  for                                                            
advertising an election.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  thought 30  days would be a  good starting point  with                                                            
additional  notices  run 21 days  prior  to the  election and  final                                                            
advertising  run between the 15th  and 8th day before the  election.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  said he  realizes the  division  does not  get                                                            
additional  funding if they advertise  over a longer period  of time                                                            
but  the first  advertisement  could  start earlier  and  subsequent                                                            
advertisements could run closer to the election day.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  said  that would  be possible.  Voting information  is                                                            
also  posted  on  the  elections  home  page  and  it  is  the  same                                                            
information  that  appears  in  printed  advertisements.   They  are                                                            
already required  by statute  to give location  and time notice  for                                                            
absentee in person voting.  Setting the statutory date for when this                                                            
must be  started is  acceptable  but 60 days  is too  far out  to be                                                            
beneficial to the voters.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  asked Ms.  Brown to  explain why  60 days  was                                                            
selected.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN said  voters and campaigners need to have  notice of where                                                            
the locations will be and  when they will open so they may depend on                                                            
those  as they  go  through  their  campaign  process. She  did  not                                                            
believe shortening the time frame a bit would be a problem.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  responded that candidates certainly  could call                                                            
the division  of elections  for that information.  He asked  whether                                                            
the reluctance  comes from  the possibility  that a candidate  might                                                            
prepare printed  material advertising a certain polling  station and                                                            
then the division of elections could switch the location.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN said yes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PHILLIPS  said that  can  be a  problem.  Candidates  print                                                            
campaign  materials giving  polling  location information  and  then                                                            
learn the  division of elections  has made  a change making  all the                                                            
printed  material inaccurate.  He thought  it only  fair to ask  the                                                            
division  of elections to  have that information  set far enough  in                                                            
advance   so  the   candidate  does   not  spend   time  and   money                                                            
disseminating voter information that is ultimately inaccurate.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI said  the  division  tries its  best to  have  polling                                                            
places  secured by  June 1 but  there are  unforeseen circumstances                                                             
that require  changes. They do try  to notify voters of the  changes                                                            
made to  accommodate emergency  situations  but it is a frustration                                                             
that is borne by everyone.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Absentee  voting   stations  and   absentee  voting  officials   are                                                            
generally set  on a June 1 time line  because the division  needs to                                                            
know the number  of locations there will be so that  supplies may be                                                            
ordered.  To the  best  of her  knowledge,  an  additional  absentee                                                            
voting station  has never  been added several  days before  absentee                                                            
voting started  if, for no other reason,  there would not  be enough                                                            
supplies, workers or ballots  available to accommodate an additional                                                            
station. Occasionally an  absentee voting official is added in small                                                            
communities where an election board cannot be found.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT thought 60 days was too long.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS  moved amendment  1 on page  2, line 1, which  changes                                                            
"60" to "30".                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PHILLIPS wanted  to  ask the sponsor  whether  30 days  was                                                            
acceptable.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN said  she thought Senator Ward would like  to see a longer                                                            
length of time.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS suggested 45 days.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS did not support 45 days.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT said Senator  Ward is  a member of the  finance                                                            
committee so  they could pass amendment  1 and he could address  the                                                            
issue in that committee.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked whether there was objection  to amendment                                                            
1 changing "60" to "30"  on page 2, line 1. There was none. He noted                                                            
the zero fiscal note.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He asked for any other testimony. There was none.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS  moved CSSB  187 (STA) J  version and accompanying                                                             
zero fiscal  note from  committee with  individual recommendations.                                                             
There was no objection.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
           HB 177-CAMPAIGN FINANCE: GROUPS & DISCLOSURE                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT, bill co-sponsor, said that members  had a copy                                                            
of the  sponsor statement  for  this campaign  finance reform  bill.                                                            
This legislation  closes a loophole  created when the last  campaign                                                            
finance measure was passed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT informed members  of two changes, both  on page                                                            
2.  First, "contributor"  is  defined  as "the  true  source of  the                                                            
funds, property, or services  being contributed;" rather than simply                                                            
the name of the person  in which the money is given. Second, special                                                            
interest  organizations  are  dealt  with  in Section  3,  lines  11                                                            
through  15.  The  term  "special  interest  organizations"  is  now                                                            
included in the terminology  of group as it is currently in statute.                                                            
"That is to  meet the conditions that  are set apart and  these were                                                            
extracted from the [American  Civil Liberties Union] ACLU case years                                                            
ago when that  was challenged and they were reluctant  to define the                                                            
terminology 'group'."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
This legislation  closes a  loophole, levels  the playing field  and                                                            
places the same  restrictions and limitations on non-group  entities                                                            
that fall into this category.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked  whether there were arguments in the House                                                            
over language that was modified to deal with legal challenges.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  said they  have  dealt with  legal  challenges                                                            
indirectly.  Both counsel and the  sponsors are of the opinion  that                                                            
they are on firm legal  ground in spite of arguments to the contrary                                                            
because they have extracted  components from state and federal legal                                                            
cases to make the two changes.  Ultimately, the courts will make the                                                            
determination.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
BROOKE MILES,  Assistant Director for the Public Offices  Commission                                                            
of  the   Department   of  Administration,   explained   that   this                                                            
legislation  addresses non-group  entities  that were identified  by                                                            
the Alaska  Supreme Court  in the Alaska  v. Alaska Civil  Liberties                                                            
Union decision.  The court  held that there  were certain  non-group                                                            
entities such  as non-profits that should be allowed  to participate                                                            
in the  election  campaign process  even though  there  is a ban  on                                                            
corporation business entities and trust participation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
It is  her understanding  that this  bill addresses  that by  making                                                            
these organizations  subject to the same disclosure  requirements as                                                            
other Alaskan groups.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She  has  received   comments  expressing  concern  about   "special                                                            
interest  organization" found  on page 2,  line 11. The complainant                                                             
was concerned that all  special interest organizations, whether they                                                            
were participating in election  campaign activities or not, were now                                                            
going  to  be  subject  to  regulations  under  the  public  offices                                                            
commission.  Although  it is  not the  intent  of the  bill and  the                                                            
commission  does  not  interpret  it  that  way,  she  thought  some                                                            
clarifying language was in order.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The commission  has identified  some costs  in the first year  where                                                            
some regulations would  need to be promulgated and where the special                                                            
interest organizations  could qualify to participate by showing they                                                            
meet the  three part test  described by the  court and contained  in                                                            
this legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said he did not  have the statutes in  front of                                                            
him and  wondered  whether subsection  (5) AS  15.13.400 deals  with                                                            
groups participating in the political process.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES said it does.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
STEVE  CLEARY,  representative   for  the  Alaska  Public   Interest                                                            
Research  Group (AkPIRG) spoke  in opposition  to HB 177 because  it                                                            
unfairly  subjects groups to  the disclosure  law. In the spring  of                                                            
1999,  the  Alaska  Supreme  Court  ruled  ideological,   non-profit                                                            
corporations  have a right to participate  in the political  process                                                            
and  it interpreted  parts  of the  campaign  finance  law to  allow                                                            
participation  by non-profit organizations.  This legislation  would                                                            
unfairly constrict that right.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The  court ruled  in  this  way to  keep the  corporate  voice  from                                                            
overruling  the voice of individuals  and for that reason  AkPIRG is                                                            
standing in opposition.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He  mentioned  amendments  that  were  also  on the  table  and  was                                                            
informed that they were for different legislation in the House.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  said  since  the courts  decided  that  groups                                                            
should be  required to disclose  their source  of funding and  since                                                            
they said  groups could participate  and express  an opinion  in the                                                            
public process, he did not see where there was a problem.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLEARY  said the  disclosure  might provide  the opportunity  to                                                            
retaliate.  In  other court  cases,  disclosure  may not  always  be                                                            
required "whenever  identification and fear of reprisal  would deter                                                            
speech. The  First Amendment protects  anonymity." For instance,  an                                                            
employer might  retaliate against an employee who  chooses to donate                                                            
to  non-profit corporations  and  that  would unfairly  limit  their                                                            
speech.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked how that is different from  an individual                                                            
who  works  for an  environmental  organization  giving  a  campaign                                                            
contribution   to  a  candidate  who  traditionally   supported  oil                                                            
development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLEARY  said if an individual  chooses to donate to a  political                                                            
candidate then  they are subject to  those disclosure laws  and that                                                            
is of benefit  to the state.  However, if  the individual elects  to                                                            
donate  to a  non-profit  organization,  that should  be  considered                                                            
separately. With  HB 177 individuals would be forced  to disclose in                                                            
a political  arena although  they may not  have been donating  for a                                                            
political reason.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PHILLIPS commented  public disclosure  should apply  to all                                                            
groups.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT asked  for other teleconferenced  or  in-person                                                            
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He asked  Kathryn Kurtz  to address  some of the  comments that  had                                                            
been expressed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
KATHRYN KURTZ, bill drafter,  said there is case law in Alaska where                                                            
the Alaska  Supreme Court  has talked about  the public interest  in                                                            
knowing where the money  that funds politics comes from. Those cases                                                            
are the Messerly and Veco decisions.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
She thought Mr.  Cleary was distinguishing between  contributions to                                                            
candidates  directly  and contributions  to  groups  that then  make                                                            
contributions  to candidates. That  is a different context  than the                                                            
Messerly or Veco cases.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT said  if the entities  were considered  groups,                                                            
disclosure would  be required. He asked what limits  would be placed                                                            
on money flowing through the groups to individual candidates?                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KURTZ  said  this  bill  would  put  these  entities  into  the                                                            
definition of group, and  all restrictions in AS 15.13 that apply to                                                            
groups would apply equally to these entities.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT   asked  for   a  listing  of  some   of  those                                                            
restrictions for the record.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KURTZ responded  there  is  a dollar  limit  on the  amount  of                                                            
contributions that groups may make to particular entities.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked if that  meant individual candidates  and                                                            
whether the limit is $1,000.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ  thought it was  $1,000 but she  did not have her  statute                                                            
book  available.   It  also subjects  them  to the  same  disclosure                                                            
requirements.  Groups  are  now required  to  report the  source  of                                                            
contributions  that exceed $100. There are also some  organizational                                                            
requirements.  This  type of  entity would  be treated  the same  as                                                            
other groups as defined in statute.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  asked  about outside  funds  coming  in to  go                                                            
directly  into an  individual political  campaign  or into  campaign                                                            
efforts in general.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ responded  there are restrictions on how  much a candidate                                                            
may accept  from out-of-state sources.  There are dollar  limits for                                                            
candidates  that  are  scaled  according  to  office  and  it  is  a                                                            
percentage of total contributions for a calendar year.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT asked  how that  would compare  if the bill  is                                                            
written so that these entities are treated as individuals.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KURTZ said  the disclosure  requirement  is  different  because                                                            
groups must  disclose the  source of contributions  over $100  while                                                            
individuals  do  not. The  individual  contribution  limits  for  an                                                            
individual  is lower than  for groups.  She thought  it was  $500 as                                                            
compared to $1,000.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked  whether there would have been any problem                                                            
with defining them as individuals as opposed to groups.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ said what the  court was calling non-group entities seemed                                                            
to  be things  that  involved  more than  one  person  and the  term                                                            
individual generally is thought of as one person.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked  for confirmation that the corporation was                                                            
treated as  an individual in the days  when corporate contributions                                                             
were allowed.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ said  there is some history there with regulations  and it                                                            
may be prior to the 1996 campaign finance reform.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked  whether she saw any problem with defining                                                            
them as individuals.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ replied, "That's a good question."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT then  asked whether  there would  be a  problem                                                            
with giving  them the option of being  a group and disclosing  or an                                                            
individual  and not disclosing the  source and having separate  caps                                                            
on what you could do with the money.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ did  not know of any case law that specifically  addresses                                                            
that scenario.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  asked  for  questions   from  other  committee                                                            
members. There were none.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He asked for any other testimony. There was none.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He asked Susan  Schrader whether she would be willing  to answer any                                                            
questions. She said she was not prepared to do so.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He then closed  the hearings on HB 177 and held it  in committee. He                                                            
announced his intent to  move to final action on the bill during the                                                            
following week.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
         SB 193-APPROP:STUDY EFFECTS OF PERM FUND DIVIDEND                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT apologized  to committee members for having just                                                            
a copy of the  bill and the sponsor  statement in member's  packets.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY,   bill  sponsor,  quoted  Senator  Stevens   saying,                                                            
"There's nothing that beats  a genuine lack of preparedness." He too                                                            
apologized  for the  lack of information  and attributed  it  to the                                                            
speed with  which bills are scheduled  and moved during the  last of                                                            
the session.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  stated there is much discussion revolving  around the                                                            
permanent  fund  dividend,   much  of which   centers  on  anecdotal                                                            
evidence that the dividend might be drawing people to the state.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The  courts  have  disallowed  longer  residency   requirements  but                                                            
language  in  the 1990  Lindly  v. Malone  case  allows  a study  to                                                            
determine  the  effects  of  the  permanent  fund  dividend  on  the                                                            
demographics  of the  state. Depending  on the  findings,  residency                                                            
requirements  could  possibly   be reconsidered.   If  the  dividend                                                            
program is  drawing individuals that  are causing a greater  draw on                                                            
our  services  than  if we  did  not  have the  dividend,  then  the                                                            
residency issue could possibly be revisited.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD joined the meeting.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY explained  that SB 193 authorizes a study to determine                                                            
what the  dividend is  doing to  the demographics  of our state  and                                                            
whether it might be causing a drain on state services.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked for the reason for selecting  January 15,                                                            
2003, as the date the report  would be delivered to the legislature.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  said there was no reason  other than it matched  with                                                            
another  study bill. If  it could  be done sooner  he would  readily                                                            
agree because the sooner  the information is available the better it                                                            
is for everyone concerned.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Side B                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said there were  no fiscal notes available  but                                                            
the depth of the study  and the length of time would impact the size                                                            
of  the notes.  Since  Senator  Kelly  is chairman  of  the  finance                                                            
committee there  was no reason to  be overly concerned about  fiscal                                                            
notes in this  committee. It is a  matter of how specific  the study                                                            
will be or the amount of detail that is affordable.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  added that the Department  of Community and  Economic                                                            
Development  as  well  as the  Department  of  Labor  and  Workforce                                                            
Development  are  mentioned  in  the  study  and  he  will  also  be                                                            
requesting  that  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services                                                            
participate in the study.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD asked what costs are envisioned.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  responded they were  discussing $250,000 to  $300,000                                                            
during  the  first  draft  of the  gender  equity  study.  [A  study                                                            
authorized during the 2001 session.]                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked for questions from committee  members and                                                            
then for on-line or in person testimony. There was no response.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He noted  the lack  of fiscal  notes but  added that  they would  be                                                            
indeterminate at this time anyway.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Since  Senator Kelly  indicated  he would  like to  include  another                                                            
department in the study  and the affordability of that would need to                                                            
be addressed  in finance  committee, he was  prepared to take  final                                                            
action on the  bill with the understanding that this  would be dealt                                                            
with in that next committee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS  moved SB  193 to the next  committee of  referral.                                                            
There was no objection.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT adjourned the meeting at 4:25 p.m.                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects