Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

02/10/2011 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 18 DURATION OF REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 18(STA) Out of Committee
*+ SCR 2 UNIFORM RULES: PRESIDING OFFICER PRO TEM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= SB 39 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COMPACT
Moved SB 39 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       February 10, 2011                                                                                        
                           9:03 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Chair                                                                                                
Senator Joe Paskvan, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Catherine Giessel                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 39                                                                                                              
"An Act  ratifying an interstate  compact to elect  the President                                                               
and  Vice-President  of the  United  States  by national  popular                                                               
vote; and  making related changes  to statutes applicable  to the                                                               
selection by voters of electors  for candidates for President and                                                               
Vice-President of  the United States  and to the duties  of those                                                               
electors."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 39 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 18                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to the  duration  of regular  sessions of  the                                                               
legislature; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 18(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2                                                                                              
Proposing amendments  to the  Uniform Rules  of the  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature relating to the presiding officer pro tempore.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 39                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COMPACT                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) FRENCH                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/14/11                                                                               
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
02/01/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/01/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/01/11       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 18                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: DURATION OF REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEVENS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/27/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/27/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/27/11       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/10/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR 2                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: UNIFORM RULES: PRESIDING OFFICER PRO TEM                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DAVIS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
02/10/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ANDY MODEROW, Staff to Senator Hollis French                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 39 for sponsor.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 18.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TIM LAMKIN, Staff to Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 18 for sponsor and answered                                                                  
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SCR 2.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TOM OBERMEYER, Staff to Senator Davis                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SCR 2 for sponsor.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:03:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BILL WIELECHOWSKI called the  Senate State Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 9:03  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Meyer, Davis,  Paskvan,  Giessel and  Chair                                                               
Wilechowski. Senator Kookesh was excused.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
           SB  39-U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COMPACT                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
9:05:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  announced the  first order of  business would                                                               
be SB 39, relating to a U.S. presidential election compact.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANDY  MODEROW,  staff  to  Senator Hollis  French,  said  he  was                                                               
available to answer questions.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  to  report SB  39  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:06:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL objected, saying she  was very concerned about SB                                                               
39.  She  feared Alaska  could  lose  its voice  in  presidential                                                               
elections if this  bill is passed, because it  would put Alaska's                                                               
votes in a pool. She noted  the Electoral College was designed to                                                               
give small rural states a voice.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI responded  that SB 39 has  two more committees                                                               
of referral.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken. Senators  Wielechowski, Paskvan, and                                                               
Meyer  voted yea.  Senator Giessel  voted nay.  Therefore, SB  39                                                               
moved from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SB  18-DURATION OF REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
9:08:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI announced  SB  18  to be  the  next item  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS,   sponsor  of  SB  18,   said  the  state                                                               
constitution says the legislature  shall meet for 120 consecutive                                                               
calendar days. The public voted to  shorten this to 90 days. Many                                                               
legislators feel  they cannot get  the job  done in 90  days, and                                                               
the  public is  not being  adequately heard.  More than  20 bills                                                               
have  been introduced  over the  years  to reduce  the length  of                                                               
legislative sessions. None of them  have passed. Some legislators                                                               
prefer the 90 day session for selfish reasons.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The shorter session  is convenient for many  people; however, the                                                               
shorter  session  gives  more  power  to  the  governor  and  the                                                               
administration, and  takes away power from  the legislature. Many                                                               
members  feel it  is  not  working. Last  year  in the  resources                                                               
committee  the public  was limited  to two  minutes of  testimony                                                               
each. Senator Stevens  stressed that the legislature's  job is to                                                               
do the  right thing for  the public,  not what is  convenient for                                                               
the legislature.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He further noted  that Governor Parnell opposes  returning to 120                                                               
day sessions,  and emphasized  that legislators  need to  keep an                                                               
eye on  the administration. Also,  a legislator knows his  or her                                                               
home  district better  than the  administration or  the governor.                                                               
The  90  day session  is  not  working,  and the  legislature  is                                                               
weakened because of it.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:15:03 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  asked how the  120 day session length  was arrived                                                               
at, since originally there was no limit.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  responded the constitution says  the legislature                                                               
shall adjourn not  later than 120 consecutive  calendar days from                                                               
the date it convenes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER  wondered how  the  drafters  of the  constitution                                                               
arrived at that figure.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  noted that the  legislature could  just convene,                                                               
and stop  when things get  done, but an open-ended  session would                                                               
make it hard to reach a  conclusion. Sometimes it is necessary to                                                               
have a 10-day extension, which the constitution allows.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:17:08 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM LAMKIN, staff  to Senator Gary Stevens,  said that originally                                                               
there was no limit to the  length of sessions. In the early years                                                               
of statehood,  sessions lasted  an average  of 70  calendar days.                                                               
Once  the  pipeline arrived,  in  the  early 1970s,  the  average                                                               
length  went   up  to  170   and  even   180  days.  In   1984  a                                                               
constitutional  amendment  was  passed  limiting  the  length  of                                                               
sessions to 120 days.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAMKIN  also pointed  out that the  90-day session  limit was                                                               
passed  by 3,843  votes. Statewide  there were  6,800 people  who                                                               
took ballots  but did  not vote on  that question.  Perhaps those                                                               
voters  felt  that  this  decision   was  best  left  up  to  the                                                               
legislature itself.  He further noted  that 27 other  states have                                                               
sessions shorter than Alaska. He  explained there is a difference                                                               
between  calendar days  and legislative  days. Alaska  is in  the                                                               
middle in terms of average  annual calendar days. Mr. Lamkin also                                                               
noted how  other states  set limits;  most use  the constitution.                                                               
Alaska uses  the constitution  and statutes.  Some states  use an                                                               
indirect  method, by  limiting per  diem.  Loss of  per diem  pay                                                               
motivates legislatures  to end  on time.  In conclusion,  he said                                                               
that SB 18 is a compromise.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:23:02 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN  asked  Mr. Lamkin  to  explain  the  difference                                                               
between legislative days and calendar days.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAMKIN answered that a legislative  day is when the Senate or                                                               
House is actually on the floor,  but the session length itself is                                                               
counted in calendar days.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI noted there was a CS for SB 18.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:24:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN moved to adopt  the proposed committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for SB 18, labeled 27-LS0122\B as the working document.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI objected for discussion purposes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAMKIN said that version  B corrects a drafting oversight, to                                                               
change the effective date to 2012.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  removed  his  objection and  version  B  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:19 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  to  report  CSSB  18,  version  B,  from                                                               
committee  with   individual  recommendations   and  accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI noted there were two proposed amendments.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:25:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LAMKIN  said that  amendment B.1 would  change the  date when                                                               
the legislature convenes, and would  restore an earlier provision                                                               
to convene  the first  session on the  third Tuesday  in January,                                                               
and  the  second  session  on  the  second  Tuesday  in  January.                                                               
Amendment B.2 would make the change  to convene every year on the                                                               
second Tuesday in January.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:27:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI clarified the amendments.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked why there are staggered start dates.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAMKIN said  the start date has changed over  the years, most                                                               
recently to  start on Tuesday  rather than Monday.  The staggered                                                               
start dates  are also in consideration  of gubernatorial election                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:28:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN  asked if  the sponsor  had a  preference between                                                               
the two amendments.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS said he preferred the first amendment.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI clarified that was amendment B.1.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:30:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  moved to adopt Amendment  [27-LS0122\B.1] and                                                               
objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                         AMENDMENT B.1                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE              BY SENATOR STEVENS                                                                      
     TO CSSB 18(...), DRAFT VERSION "B"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 3:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Section 1. AS 24.05.090 is amended to read:                                                                      
          Sec.    24.05.090.   Duration    of   legislature;                                                                  
     sessions.  [THE   LEGISLATURE  SHALL  CONVENE   AT  THE                                                                  
     CAPITAL EACH  YEAR ON THE  THIRD TUESDAY IN  JANUARY AT                                                                    
     1:00  p.m.]  Each legislature  has  a  duration of  two                                                                    
     years and  consists of a  "First Regular  Session" that                                                                    
     meets in the odd-numbered  years, and a "Second Regular                                                                    
     Session"  that meets  in the  even-numbered years,  and                                                                    
     any special  session that  the governor  or legislature                                                                    
     calls. The  legislature shall  convene a  First Regular                                                                
     Session at the capital on  the third Tuesday in January                                                                
     at  1:00  p.m.  and  shall  convene  a  Second  Regular                                                                
     Session  at  the  capital  on  the  second  Tuesday  in                                                                
     January at 1:00 p.m."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1 of this Act takes"                                                                                  
          Insert "Sections 1 and 2 of this Act take"                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 2"                                                                                                    
          Insert "Section 3"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  removed  his  objection  and  closed  public                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:30:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN moved  to  report CS  for SB  18,  version B  as                                                               
amended,  from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI   announced  that  without   objection,  CSSB                                                               
18(STA) moved from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
        SCR  2-UNIFORM RULES: PRESIDING OFFICER PRO TEM                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
9:32:13 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  announced SCR  2 would be  the next  item for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE  DAVIS, sponsor  of SCR  2, said  this legislation                                                               
could be  very helpful to all  60 members, and it  would increase                                                               
leadership  positions without  taking  away any  duties from  the                                                               
current  officers.  Senator  Davis   noted  there  is  already  a                                                               
temporary pro  tem during  organization of  the session,  and she                                                               
would like  to see a permanent  speaker pro tem. She  stated that                                                               
31 states have this. She added  that this new position would make                                                               
it  easier  for women  to  move  into  the leadership.  No  women                                                               
currently  have   leadership  positions   in  the   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature.  Senator  Davis  said   that  having  an  additional                                                               
leadership position would strengthen the legislature.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:36:47 AM                                                                                                                    
TOM OBERMEYER,  aide to  Senator Bettye  Davis, read  the sponsor                                                               
statement, as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The purpose of Senate  Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 2 is                                                                    
     to amend  the Uniform Rules  to increase the  roles and                                                                    
     responsibilities of temporary presiding officers.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     SCR  2 first  amends  Uniform Rule  1  and changes  the                                                                    
     titles  of Temporary  Presiding  officers to  Presiding                                                                    
     Officers Pro  Tempore and Permanent  Presiding Officers                                                                    
     to Regular Presiding Officers.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The SCR next  amends Uniform Rule 4  relating to duties                                                                    
     of Temporary  Presiding Officers.  Presently, Temporary                                                                    
     Presiding  Officers only  preside  over floor  sessions                                                                    
     until  the chamber  is organized  and the  Permanent or                                                                    
     "Regular"  Presiding  Officer  is  seated.  Rule  4  is                                                                    
     amended  to  increase  the   duties  of  the  Presiding                                                                    
     Officer Pro Tempore  who in the absence  of the Regular                                                                    
     Presiding  Officer "shall  preside  during sessions  of                                                                  
     the  house  and may  exercise  any  other duty  of  the                                                                  
     regular  presiding  officer."   In  this  capacity  the                                                                  
     Presiding  Officer Pro  Tempore  replaces the  Majority                                                                    
     Leader  of the  House presently  serving ex  officio as                                                                    
     presiding officer pro tempore.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The  major  advantage  of  these  rule  changes  is  to                                                                    
     provide opportunities for  more legislators to function                                                                    
     in leadership positions.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OBERMEYER  said  that  Doug   Gardiner,  Director  of  Legal                                                               
Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency, was present  for questions                                                               
about the  current draft. The  resolution proposes  amendments to                                                               
Uniform Rules 1 and 4  to increase the roles and responsibilities                                                               
of presiding  officers pro tempore.  Sections 1 and 2  change the                                                               
titles  of  temporary  presiding  officers. Section  4,  Rule  4,                                                               
establishes  that  in  the  absence  of  both  regular  presiding                                                               
officers,  the  pro  tempore serves  as  presiding  officer.  The                                                               
intent of  SCR 2 is that  the presiding officer pro  tem would be                                                               
selected at  the start of  the first session, and  would continue                                                               
to  serve for  both  sessions. This  would  effectively create  a                                                               
third permanent leadership position.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:40:05 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER noted the House  has created a new leadership role,                                                               
referred to as majority whip.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DAVIS  said  the  majority   whip  position  is  already                                                               
available  on both  sides.  The proposed  new  position would  be                                                               
different,  because it  would be  part  of the  structure in  the                                                               
Uniform Rules.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:42:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked if there was a fiscal note.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS said there was not.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked if SCR 2 would have fiscal impact.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL   asked  if  the  new   position  would  require                                                               
additional staff.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS  responded that would  depend upon  the leadership.                                                               
But  the bill  does have  a finance  hearing, and  that committee                                                               
will determine if there is a fiscal note.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  said resolutions don't typically  have fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:01 AM                                                                                                                       
SENATOR PASKVAN  moved to adopt  work draft  committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for SCR 2, labeled 27-LS0031\M, as the working document.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI objected for discussion purposes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OBERMEYER stated  the  CS was  rewritten  to recognize  that                                                               
there  was  no  intent  to   supersede  the  existing  leadership                                                               
structure. The  position added would  be a totally  new position,                                                               
and it would be a back-up, not a superior position                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:46:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  removed his  objection; therefore,  version M                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI closed public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:47:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI announced SCR 2 would be held in committee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:50:00 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Wielechowski adjourned the Senate State Affairs Standing                                                                  
Committee meeting at 9:50 a.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR 2 Sponsor Statement Rev. 1-27-2011.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SCR 2
UNIFORM RULES: PRESIDING OFFICER PRO TEM
SB 39 Testimony Curtis Gans (Feb 8 2011).pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SB 39
SB 39 Testimony Tara Ross Feb 2011.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SB 39
SB 18 Testimony April Hodges.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SB 18
SCR 2 Sectional revised- CS & Amend. 2-8-2011.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SCR 2
SCR 2 - CSSCR 2 27-LS0031M.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SCR 2
SCR 2 Docs- Uniform Rules 1-4.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SCR 2
SCR 2 Sponsor Statement Rev. 2-9-2011.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SCR 2
SB 18 Supporting Document Chart of Session Days by State - Data Source NCSL.pdf SSTA 2/10/2011 9:00:00 AM
SB 18