Legislature(2003 - 2004)

01/20/2004 03:35 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                        January 20, 2004                                                                                        
                           3:35 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TAPE (S) 04-1                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 190                                                                                                             
"An Act  adding certain state-owned  land and water to  the Kenai                                                               
River Special Management Area; relating  to the mineral estate of                                                               
the  state-owned  land  and  water in  the  Kenai  River  Special                                                               
Management Area;  amending the qualifications for  members of the                                                               
Kenai  River   Special  Management   Area  advisory   board;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     MOVED CSSB 190(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 167                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to introduction  of measures in the legislature;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 8                                                                                              
Proposing amendments  to the  Uniform Rules  of the  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature  relating  to  the   introduction  of  measures;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date for the amendments.                                                                             
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 190                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: KENAI RIVER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) WAGONER                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/16/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/16/03       (S)       STA, RES                                                                                               
01/20/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 167                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INTRODUCTION OF BILLS                                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GUESS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
04/02/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/02/03       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
01/20/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR  8                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AMENDING UNIFORM RULES 37 AND 44                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GUESS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
04/02/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/02/03       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
01/20/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner                                                                                                          
State Capitol, Room 427                                                                                                         
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 190                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Pete Panarese                                                                                                                   
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation                                                                                        
400 Willoughby Ave.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK  99801-1724                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 190                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ted Wellman                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, AK 99513                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 190                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Doug Vincent-Lang                                                                                                               
Division of Sport Fish                                                                                                          
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 190                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
William T. Arnold                                                                                                               
Sterling, AK 99672                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 167                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-1, SIDE A                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS called  the  Senate  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order  at 3:35  p.m. Present  were Senators                                                               
Stedman, Guess  and Chair Gary  Stevens. Senator  Cowdery arrived                                                               
shortly thereafter.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
           SB 190-KENAI RIVER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS  announced SB 190 to be  up for consideration.                                                               
He  advised  that  committee   substitute  (CS)  23-LS0961\H  was                                                               
offered  and asked  for  a  motion to  adopt  it  as the  working                                                               
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN  GUESS motioned  to adopt the  \H version  of SB                                                               
190 as  the working document. There  was no objection and  it was                                                               
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked Senator Wagoner to step forward.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THOMAS  WAGONER, sponsor,  introduced Amy Seitz  and said                                                               
that she  worked on SB 190  when she was staff  to Representative                                                               
Lancaster.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  explained  that   the  issue  has  some   history.  In  2001,                                                               
Representative Lancaster  introduced a  bill to add  nearly 8,000                                                               
acres  to the  Kenai River  Special Management  Area. Because  of                                                               
problems  with  a  federal energy  regulation  commission,  3,500                                                               
acres  in  the  Kenai  Lake  area  were  removed.  In  subsequent                                                               
hearings, the acreage  was further reduced to 536  acres, most of                                                               
which  were  acquired  as habitat  recreation  lands  with  Exxon                                                               
Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) money.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER  pointed out that  SB 190 includes  the provision                                                               
that  makes agency  personnel ex  officio or  non-voting members.                                                               
State  and federal  employees are  valuable for  their expertise,                                                               
but he  said he firmly supports  the concept of a  true citizen's                                                               
advisory council.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  clarified that  the only  difference between                                                               
the original  bill and the \H  version is the composition  of the                                                               
advisory board.  The change is  on page  5, lines 11-13  and says                                                               
that employees,  elected officials or representatives  of a state                                                               
or  federal government  who were  members of  the advisory  board                                                               
would serve as ex officio or non-voting members.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS  noted that "adjacent to  the Kenai River"                                                               
was added  after "municipalities"  on page 5,  line 9  to clarify                                                               
that the advisory board represents specific municipalities.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER advised that provision  was added to preclude the                                                               
difficulty  the  Aquaculture   Association  experienced  when  an                                                               
interpretation became too broad.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHN COWDERY commented that  catching a salmon fishing on                                                               
the Kenai River is a large industry.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER agreed  saying it's a big part  of the summertime                                                               
economy  of  Kenai,  Soldotna  and   the  upper  river  area.  In                                                               
particular,  the upper  river area  is becoming  world known  for                                                               
float  trips  and  fly-fishing  and  the  resource  needs  to  be                                                               
protected.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He pointed  out that SB 190  is basically the same  bill that the                                                               
Senate Resources Committee passed in  2002 [HB 165] at which time                                                               
there was  considerable public comment  regarding adding  land to                                                               
the Kenai  River Special Management  Area. He noted that  most of                                                               
the  land under  consideration  is not  suitable for  development                                                               
because of wetland issues, but  any additional development on the                                                               
Kenai  River  threatens the  continued  viability  of the  salmon                                                               
runs.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
To  address  the concern  regarding  removing  federal and  state                                                               
employees from the  board, he pointed out that they  were made ex                                                               
officio  members  and would  continue  to  provide expertise  and                                                               
guidance. He  described the bill as  " all in all,  a pretty good                                                               
bill " and  noted that the controversial lands  had been removed.                                                               
He asked if there were any questions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS referred to page  5, lines 2-5 and  asked for                                                               
clarification that this allows for oil and gas leasing.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER asked that Department  of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                               
representative to elaborate.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS  announced   that  Gary  Morrison  and  Pete                                                               
Panarese  from Anchorage  and Chris  Degernes from  Soldotna were                                                               
available via  teleconference and  asked whether  any of  the men                                                               
would like to address oil and gas questions.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETE  PANARESE, Division  of Parks  and Outdoor  Recreation, DNR,                                                               
reported that he  reviewed the language in the  CS and determined                                                               
that  the wording  was simply  reworked to  make a  more readable                                                               
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS observed  that the bill  states that  oil and                                                               
gas leasing is open on the lands and follows state law.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PANARESE agreed saying, "The state lands."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  asked Senator  Wagoner to  explain the  duties and                                                               
authority  of the  Kenai River  Special Management  Area Advisory                                                               
Board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER  acknowledged that  he wasn't  an expert  and was                                                               
carrying the bill at Representative  Lancaster's request. He said                                                               
he  knows they  are  instrumental in  reviewing  the Kenai  River                                                               
system from  the mouth up  through Kenai Lake. They  work closely                                                               
with the Division  of Parks and Outdoor Recreation  and the Kenai                                                               
River Center. It is a user  group advisory board that is composed                                                               
of  citizens at  large, commercial  fishermen, and  sport fishing                                                               
guides. With regard to their  exact authority, he admitted he was                                                               
unsure  because most  of the  actual  enforcement and  regulation                                                               
authority rests with the state parks.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS referred to page 5, line  9 and asked if there is a                                                               
definition for "user  groups" in the by laws so  that it would be                                                               
easier to determine who is and is not a user group.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WAGONER  said  that  user   groups  are  those  that  he                                                               
previously   defined:  the   general  public   including  several                                                               
municipalities, sports fishing  guides, and commercial fishermen.                                                               
"That pretty  well covers the whole  gauntlet of those of  us who                                                               
are interested  in preserving the  pristine beauty  and viability                                                               
of the  Kenai River  system and  the fish runs  that are  in it."                                                               
Also, the board  members are appointed every four  years and half                                                               
are rotated every two years.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS asked  for elaboration  regarding  why areas  were                                                               
removed  from Representative  Lancaster's original  bill and  why                                                               
some of the lands were controversial.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WAGONER said  the largest  controversy was  with Chugach                                                               
Electric and  related to access to  the flume, the road,  and the                                                               
rights of  way. Also, some  land was  to be purchased  or traded,                                                               
but  the state  is no  longer purchasing  additional property  to                                                               
include in reserves.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS asked  if it  was  correct that  those lands  were                                                               
included  initially  because they  were  important  to the  river                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER said they were  undeveloped properties and it was                                                               
desirable to  keep them that way.  He admitted that he  agreed to                                                               
carry the bill  with the EVOS lands because they  were lands that                                                               
the state  had already purchased  and it would protect  them from                                                               
future development.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  questioned whether  some  of  the land  that  was                                                               
excluded is  critical to  ensure the habitat  of the  Kenai River                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER  opined they aren't  as critical as they  used to                                                               
be because development restrictions  are more stringent than they                                                               
used to  be. He  stated that he  isn't interested  in controlling                                                               
what  another person  may do  with their  property, but  property                                                               
rights on the Kenai River affect  far more people than just those                                                               
along the  river. It  is a  valuable system and  no one  wants to                                                               
lose it.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS asked  if  there  is a  reason  for the  immediate                                                               
effective date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER  replied it isn't  a burning issue  and continued                                                               
to describe this as a non-partisan issue.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BERT STEDMAN  noted  that  SB 190  applies  to just  536                                                               
acres, but that  it has a broader reach, as  it would protect the                                                               
Kenai River for generations to come.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER agreed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN  asked that  Senator  Wagoner  explain the  EVOS                                                               
acronym and how it relates to the Exxon Valdez.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER explained  that EVOS stands for  Exxon Valdez Oil                                                               
Settlement. Close to a $1  billion settlement was reached between                                                               
Exxon, the  State of Alaska  and the federal government.  A large                                                               
percentage of  that money  was used to  buy private  sector lands                                                               
and return  them to  the state, but  the current  governor halted                                                               
the practice.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN  observed that  these  lands  would be  held  in                                                               
perpetuity as untouched lands for future generations to enjoy.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER agreed  and said that although most  of the lands                                                               
are  wetlands or  have wetlands  on  them, SB  190 ensures  their                                                               
protection by placing them in the park system.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS called on Ted Wellman to give testimony.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TED  WELLMAN  from  Anchorage testified  via  teleconference.  He                                                               
advised that he was speaking for  himself, but that he has served                                                               
on the  Kenai River  Special Management  Area Advisory  Board for                                                               
eight years. He  spoke in support of the bill  with regard to the                                                               
acreage, but  disagreed with making  some of the members  ad hoc.                                                               
Initially he was not in favor  of allowing agency members to vote                                                               
but has since  changed his mind. They have  a stabilizing quality                                                               
and  provide regular  and ongoing  information to  the board.  He                                                               
expressed  concern  that  a special  interest  group  might  gain                                                               
control of the board and drive it in the wrong direction.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR  WELLMAN stated  no  objection to  the  Department of  Natural                                                               
Resources  and the  Department of  Fish and  Game having  no vote                                                               
because  they are  "too  close." However,  he  believes that  the                                                               
refuge and Forest  Service should be voting  members because they                                                               
prevent  any user  group among  the public  members from  gaining                                                               
control of the board. In his  eight years on the board, there was                                                               
no  problem with  the  agencies  voting and  he  could recall  no                                                               
instance in which the agency member made a determining vote.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
To clarify  any misunderstanding, he  explained that  the Chugach                                                               
Electric  property was  a small  part  of the  land selected  for                                                               
inclusion in the park. Most of  the land slated for inclusion did                                                               
not  have  to  be  purchased.  There  was  some  objection  about                                                               
commercial development  around Kenai Lake and  after an extensive                                                               
public process, the board recommended  including the areas in the                                                               
park  to protect  the river.  In particular,  exchanges regarding                                                               
commercial and  non-commercial development in the  Cooper Landing                                                               
area  were   fiery,  but  the   board  thought   that  commercial                                                               
development was incompatible with the river.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He  expressed pleasure  that  SB  190 would  add  536 acres,  but                                                               
stated  his belief  that the  other  land should  be included  as                                                               
well.  He then  acknowledged that  Chugach Electric's  objections                                                               
were legitimate.  He said he  would be happy to  answer questions                                                               
about how the board works.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  asked Mr.  Wellman to  comment on  the board                                                               
responsibilities and what it accomplishes.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WELLMAN explained  that  in  the mid  1990s,  the board  was                                                               
charged with  redeveloping the comprehensive  plan for  the Kenai                                                               
River. They did  so through an extensive  public hearing process.                                                               
The plan  addresses all  activity on the  river. They  review and                                                               
comment on  permit applications for  building on the  river, they                                                               
participate  in water  quality  monitoring  studies, they  review                                                               
enforcement  issues related  to guiding  activities, they  advise                                                               
the park on  guide stipulations and numbers, and  they review and                                                               
comment on any other uses related  to the river that might affect                                                               
the public.  Generally, they  are very  active and  aggressive in                                                               
protecting the river.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:00 pm                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked Mr. Vincent-Lang to give testimony.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  VINCENT-LANG, Department  of Fish  and Game,  testified via                                                               
teleconference  to  say  that  the   land  under  discussion  was                                                               
specifically purchased to  be set aside. They  are EVOS purchases                                                               
and most are  wetlands that form critical habitat  to sustain the                                                               
fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WAGONER remarked  that Mr.  Wellman brought  up a  point                                                               
that  might  benefit  from additional  clarification.  The  water                                                               
quality  study  on  the  Kenai   River  that  the  Department  of                                                               
Environmental Conservation  (DEC) was involved in  was not funded                                                               
last year. He advised that he  is working to re fund that program                                                               
so that  the water  quality study  can be  completed in  the next                                                               
year or two.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  noted  that  the bill  would  move to  the                                                               
Senate   Resources  Committee   next.  Fiscal   notes  from   the                                                               
Department of  Natural Resources and  the Department of  Fish and                                                               
Game were  attached and the bill  did not have a  referral to the                                                               
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHN  COWDERY made  a motion to  move CSSB  190(STA) from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
notes. There was no objection and it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:00 pm                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                  SB 167-INTRODUCTION OF BILLS                                                                              
            SCR  8-AMENDING UNIFORM RULES 37 AND 44                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  announced SB  167  and SCR  8 to  be up  for                                                               
consideration.  He stated  that he  did  not intend  to move  the                                                               
bills  from  committee that  day,  but  he  wanted to  begin  the                                                               
discussion and take testimony. He  asked Senator Guess to present                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRETCHEN GUESS,  sponsor,  advised that  she would  talk                                                               
about the bills simultaneously.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She  said it  is  interesting  to learn  how  transparent or  not                                                               
transparent the system  in the capitol is to  the outside public.                                                               
In combination, SB  167 and SCR 8 move toward  a more transparent                                                               
system for  the Legislature. These  bills do two things.  They do                                                               
away  with  committee  bills  and  they  add  authority  for  the                                                               
governor to  introduce bills  directly. Although  legislators and                                                               
others working in  the capitol know what a  committee bill means,                                                               
the  public doesn't  necessarily  have  that same  understanding.                                                               
It's  confusing to  look  at a  bill and  know  who sponsors  and                                                               
believes  in  the  bill.  If  a  legislator  sits  on  the  Rules                                                               
Committee, every  governor's bill  has their  name on  it whether                                                               
they agree with the bill or  not. She said that sixty legislators                                                               
and one  governor are elected  officials and all should  have the                                                               
authority to introduce legislation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
She said she decided to  introduce this legislation after it came                                                               
to her  attention that it is  unclear to the public  who supports                                                               
certain bills. The confusion wasn't  intended, but she thought it                                                               
is time  to revisit  the process and  become more  transparent to                                                               
the public.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She asked for questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS  asked about Rule 44 that  says a legislator                                                               
may  not introduce  bills  after  the 35th  day  of the  session.                                                               
Because many bills do come after  that time, he wondered what the                                                               
impact might be if committee bills were no longer allowed.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS pointed  out that on page  2, line 3 of  SCR 8 Rule                                                               
44, which  is specifically about committees  and committee bills,                                                               
is repealed.  With this legislation, there  wouldn't be committee                                                               
bills,  but any  member of  the  Legislature could  put in  bills                                                               
until the end of the session.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS recapped and  said that in removing  Rule 44,                                                               
any  legislator could  introduce legislation  right up  until the                                                               
end.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  agreed and said  that it would be  the prerogative                                                               
of the chair to hear the bills or not.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHN COWDERY noted that by  the end of this session there                                                               
would  be close  to 1,000  bills that  were introduced,  but less                                                               
than 80 would become law and that isn't necessarily bad.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He referred  to the  sponsor statement  that said  that committee                                                               
bills may  have had  a purpose  at one  time, but  it is  time to                                                               
reevaluate the  process. He asked  what she believes  the purpose                                                               
to have been originally.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS said she would look  to him as the more experienced                                                               
member, but she understands that it  is from when a committee, in                                                               
it's entirety,  worked on an issue  and presented it in  front of                                                               
the  Legislature.  She  acknowledged   that  is  a  positive  and                                                               
important   part  of   the  process   and  although   she  hasn't                                                               
experienced  that,  her bill  wouldn't  prohibit  it either.  The                                                               
difference is  that the chair would  put the bill in  rather than                                                               
the committee as a whole. She  opined that a committee could work                                                               
on and support a bill without it being a committee bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  said that  in her tenure  she has  probably seen                                                               
many bills that were referred  to a subcommittee because they had                                                               
problems. It's not  uncommon for the subcommittee  to be composed                                                               
of both  minority and majority  members and still they  return an                                                               
unacceptable product to  the full committee and  the bill doesn't                                                               
go forward.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  asked Senator  Guess what  she  believes has  changed in  the                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  first stated  that  this  bill would  not  affect                                                               
committee substitutes.  Committee substitutes that come  from the                                                               
subcommittee negotiation is a very  good part of the process. She                                                               
continued to  say that government  is becoming  more transparent,                                                               
particularly with  respect to the  Internet. People  review bills                                                               
more frequently  and they  have an increased  desire to  know and                                                               
understand what  legislators are doing. Gavel-to-Gavel  is a very                                                               
positive step and  having all bills available on  the Internet is                                                               
another. There was  less confusion years ago  because the process                                                               
was less transparent.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  related his experience  in giving  people copies                                                               
of a  bill saying they  don't understand what  bracketed language                                                               
means or  what the bolded  language means. "If  you read it  as a                                                               
whole,  without  the  bracket, it's  confusing,  but  that's  our                                                               
system  and those  that  do understand  probably  are fewer  than                                                               
those that  don't..." He asked  when the process changed  and why                                                               
this is necessary.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS thanked Senator Cowdery  for his questions and said                                                               
that as  Rules Chair, perhaps the  web site should be  changed to                                                               
help people learn  to read a bill. It's complicated  and the more                                                               
the public understands, the better.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
She admitted that she didn't know  when the change occurred. If a                                                               
public member hadn't approached her,  she might not have given it                                                               
much thought.  She was  asked why she  supported a  certain Rules                                                               
Committee  bill  and when  she  said  she  didn't, she  began  to                                                               
understand how difficult  this might be to  understand. She said,                                                               
"This isn't the  sexiest issue out there," but  the public should                                                               
be able to understand who supports a bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  pointed out that  she probably didn't  know most                                                               
of the  people that  elected her and  he doesn't  personally know                                                               
many his  constituents either,  but they  decided that  she would                                                               
vote the way  they wanted her to  vote most of the  time and that                                                               
is why she was elected.  Understanding that, he doubts that there                                                               
will ever be a point when most people understand the system.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He then  asked about issues that  a constituent might bring  to a                                                               
committee chair dealing with the specific task of the committee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  said that all legislators  have the responsibility                                                               
of evaluating the  ideas that constituents bring  in and deciding                                                               
whether or not they should be put in as a bill.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:30 pm                                                                                                                       
TAPE 04-1, SIDE B                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
SENATOR GUESS referred to the  point he made regarding the number                                                               
of bills  introduced as compared  to the number that  become law.                                                               
She  pointed out  that  people are  able to  look  at the  voting                                                               
records for the bills that become law.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY interrupted  to  say  that they  look  at how  a                                                               
legislator voted,  they don't necessarily  look at  the committee                                                               
bills  where members  have the  option to  vote do  pass, do  not                                                               
pass, no  recommendation, or  amend. The true  record is  how you                                                               
vote on it when it gets to the floor, if it gets to the floor.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  agreed that that's  the point. Names  are attached                                                               
to committee bills yet the commitment  might not be there. SB 167                                                               
would  allow citizens  to know  which  legislators support  which                                                               
bills. This would clarify the public record.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY  asked who  should  take  the responsibility  to                                                               
ensure  that  the  public's ideas  are  represented  through  the                                                               
committee  process.  He  continued  to  say  that  the  committee                                                               
process weeds out weak bills. He  took issue with her charge that                                                               
when a  committee bill is  introduced that all  committee members                                                               
are co-sponsors.  He pointed  out that  there is  a space  on the                                                               
bill for  co-sponsors and there  is a committee voting  record on                                                               
the bill. If  the bill gets to  the floor there is  also a voting                                                               
record.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He referred  to the sponsor  statement that  said this is  a good                                                               
first step and asked what her second step might be.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  thanked him for  clarifying that. She said  she is                                                               
always open to suggestions and there isn't a second step.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY then  asked how the court  system would introduce                                                               
a bill if this were passed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  said they would  go to the Judiciary  Committee or                                                               
to  the  governor. Under  SB  167  they  could introduce  a  bill                                                               
through the governor or any of the 60 legislators.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY outlined the steps  a bill goes through to become                                                               
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS said that under  this bill, the governor could send                                                               
a bill directly to the clerk.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY disagreed with that idea wholeheartedly.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  asked why because  she thought that, as  the Rules                                                               
Chair, he would support that change.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  said he supports  maintaining the  separation of                                                               
powers.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS replied  that she  believes the  people elect  the                                                               
governor and he or she should be able to submit bills directly.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY said our constitution is  a model and there is no                                                               
need for change.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS pointed  out that  this bill  wouldn't change  the                                                               
constitution; it's an interpretation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS noted that members  had a copy of  a fax from                                                               
Mike  McBride in  their  packets.  He then  asked  Mr. Arnold  to                                                               
testify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM T.  ARNOLD from Sterling testified  via teleconference in                                                               
support  of both  bills. He  would  like the  sponsor to  receive                                                               
credit  for their  bill. He  said this  would help  citizens know                                                               
what's  going  on  in  their  government  and  it's  called  full                                                               
disclosure and transparency.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS thanked Mr.  Arnold and repeated that he would                                                               
not move the bill that day.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNOLD  then asked  whether the committee  would vote  on the                                                               
bill some other time.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS assured Mr.  Arnold that the  committee would                                                               
look at  the bill carefully  and decide whether any  changes were                                                               
needed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY stated his intention to amend the bill.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNOLD repeated  his position with regard to tying  a name to                                                               
a bill.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  said bills  are tied  to a  name when  they move                                                               
from committee because the member's  recommendations are a matter                                                               
of public record.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  thanked  Mr. Arnold  for  his testimony  and                                                               
asked Senator Guess if she had additional comments.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  said Senator Cowdery  provided good debate  on the                                                               
subject.  She  restated her  position  that  she always  welcomes                                                               
amendments  to improve  the bill  as long  as her  intent is  not                                                               
changed. She voiced the opinion  that although this subject isn't                                                               
on  par with  fiscal plans  or education,  it is  important. It's                                                               
always worthwhile to look at ways  to make the system work better                                                               
for the people.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BERT STEDMAN asked for  an explanation of the retroactive                                                               
date.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS explained that the date on  SCR 8 is tied to SB 167                                                               
because  statutes and  rules wouldn't  mesh if  one were  to pass                                                               
without the other.  In reviewing the bill she  determined that it                                                               
isn't necessary to have an effective date on SB 167.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN admitted  he  hasn't experienced  the  end of  a                                                               
session but he  understands that it is fast moving.  With that in                                                               
mind, he asked what  affect this bill might have on  the end of a                                                               
session.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  replied  this  bill   isn't  intended  to  change                                                               
anything  that happens  once the  budget goes  into effect.  This                                                               
would  remove the  deadline for  personal bills  and would  allow                                                               
legislators  the opportunity  to put  bills in  at any  time. She                                                               
acknowledged that  this might have the  unintended consequence of                                                               
cluttering  first readings,  but what  Senator Cowdery,  as Rules                                                               
Committee chair, must balance is what  needs to get to the floor.                                                               
Because issues do  arise after February, there must  be a process                                                               
to  address   those  issues.  However,   the  work   entailed  in                                                               
introducing  a bill  acts as  a natural  inhibition. She  thanked                                                               
Senator Stedman for the clarifying question.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  thanked Senator  Guess and  noted that  this                                                               
makes everyone  stop and think  about the  process. SCR 8  and SB                                                               
167 were held in committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS adjourned the meeting at 4:50 pm.                                                                            

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