Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/31/2015 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 56 ALASKA FIREFIGHTERS' DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS HB 56(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 24 LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS,INTERNS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 24 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 31, 2015                                                                                         
                           9:01 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bill Stoltze, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 56                                                                                                               
"An Act establishing Alaska Firefighters' Day."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SCS HB 56(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to the applicability of  the Legislative Ethics                                                               
Act to legislative  interns, legislative volunteers, consultants,                                                               
independent  contractors, sole  proprietorships, and  other legal                                                               
entities."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 24 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 56                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA FIREFIGHTERS' DAY                                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LYNN, CLAMAN                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/16/15                                                                               
01/21/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
02/24/15       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/24/15       (H)       Moved HB 56 Out of Committee                                                                           
02/24/15       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/25/15       (H)       STA RPT 6DP                                                                                            
02/25/15       (H)       DP: TALERICO, STUTES, LYNN, KREISS-                                                                    
                         TOMKINS, GRUENBERG, KELLER                                                                             
03/02/15       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/02/15       (H)       VERSION: HB 56                                                                                         
03/04/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/04/15       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/31/15       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 24                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS,INTERNS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GARDNER                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/21/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/05/15       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/05/15       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/12/15       (S)       STA AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/12/15       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/12/15       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/31/15       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 56.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JEFF TUCKER, Fire Chief                                                                                                         
Kenai Fire Department                                                                                                           
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 56.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARK HALL, Fire Chief                                                                                                           
Hilcorp Alaska, LLC                                                                                                             
Alaska-North Slope                                                                                                              
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 56.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KELLY NICOLELLO, Alaska State Fire Marshal and Director                                                                         
Division of Fire and Life Safety                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Public Safety                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 56.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BERTA GARDNER                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 24.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS PRESLEY, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview for SB 24.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE ANDERSON, Contractor                                                                                                      
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Addressed questions regarding SB 24.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JERRY ANDERSON, Committee Administrator                                                                                         
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Addressed questions regarding SB 24.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:01:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BILL  STOLTZE called  the  Senate  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 9:01  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were   Senators  Coghill,  Huggins,  McGuire,   and  Chair                                                               
Stoltze.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 56-ALASKA FIREFIGHTERS' DAY                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:01:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of HB 56.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:02:01 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau,                                                                      
Alaska, provided a sponsor statement as follows:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     There's a special group of  people who help us survive.                                                                    
     At  the  federal  level,  of  course,  it's  American's                                                                    
     military.  At the  state and  local  levels it's  first                                                                    
     responders and  that includes our  Alaska firefighters.                                                                    
     When you're  trying to escape a  fire, firefighters run                                                                    
     into  burning buildings  to help  us  escape. When  you                                                                    
     suffer a heart attack  or some other medical emergency,                                                                    
     it's our  firefighters who rush  into our home  to save                                                                    
     our  lives. When  you are  trapped in  a car  from some                                                                    
     horrible accident,  it's firefighters  who rush  to the                                                                    
     scene  to  rescue  us  with Jaws  of  Life.  Unless  we                                                                    
     survive,  all of  the other  issues and  challenges and                                                                    
     opportunities are  moot. Alaska's  firefighters deserve                                                                    
     their own special day of  recognition and I urge you to                                                                    
     pass this  bill out  of committee.  This good  bill has                                                                    
     become  a  better  bill   when  the  Chairman  included                                                                    
     volunteer firefighters. I urge you to pass the bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:03:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE   noted  that  the   committee  has   a  committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  that Representative Lynn referenced.  He pointed                                                               
out that  the CS does  not change any  substance of the  bill. He                                                               
added  that the  CS  has  a Findings  Section  that  will not  be                                                               
included in the statutes, but  does reflect the contribution of a                                                               
large number of folks.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MCGUIRE moved  to adopt the Senate  State Affairs version                                                               
for HB 56, [29-LS0241\W] as the working document.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE objected and explained  that he worked closely with                                                               
the bill  sponsor with the  desire to recognize the  large number                                                               
of people that are not paid professionals.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:04:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  commented that Chairman Stoltze  made a good                                                               
bill much better.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE detailed  that the bill's Findings  Section is only                                                               
reflected in the  legislative record that the  volunteers will be                                                               
recognized.  He pointed  out  that  service includes  non-police,                                                               
public safety, dispatchers, wild firefighters and so forth.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:05:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE  asked if  there  were  any other  objections.  He                                                               
announced that the CS is before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:05:29 AM                                                                                                                    
JEFF TUCKER,  Fire Chief, Kenai  Fire Department,  Kenai, Alaska,                                                               
revealed that  he is also the  2nd Vice President for  the Alaska                                                               
Fire   Chiefs  Association.   He  said   HB  56   recognizes  the                                                               
contributions of  firefighters across the state,  both career and                                                               
volunteer firefighters.  He pointed out  that the bill  gives the                                                               
state a date  to pause, reflect, and celebrate  the services that                                                               
the men and women firefighters  provide for their communities. He                                                               
said the  Alaska Fire Chiefs Association  supports and encourages                                                               
the adoption of HB 56.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:06:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MARK HALL,  Fire Chief, Hilcorp Alaska,  LLC, Alaska-North Slope,                                                               
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, said  HB 56 is a great thing  for all of the                                                               
fire-people  in the  fire-service,  including professionals  that                                                               
volunteers  or  paid  that  put  their  lives  on  the  line.  He                                                               
concurred with  Chief Tucker  that HB 56  will establish  a great                                                               
day for  people to  just think about  what the  fire-service does                                                               
for their community  and what the community does  for the service                                                               
too.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:07:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  pointed out  that firefighting  personnel includes                                                               
both men  and women. He  noted that the  fire chief at  his local                                                               
fire department is a woman.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HALL agreed with Chair Stoltze.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:08:02 AM                                                                                                                    
KELLY NICOLELLO,  Alaska State  Fire Marshal,  Director, Division                                                               
of  Fire and  Life Safety,  Alaska Department  of Public  Safety,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, pointed out that  there are approximately 1500                                                               
firefighters  across  the state  made  up  of career,  municipal,                                                               
borough, wildland, and airport firefighters.  He added that there                                                               
are  approximately 6000  volunteer  municipal, borough,  village,                                                               
and wildland  firefighters that are all  considered professionals                                                               
for serving communities with their  heart, soul, pocketbooks, and                                                               
sometimes  their  lives. He  stated  that  the vast  majority  of                                                               
firefighters are  volunteers who have other  fulltime careers. He                                                               
said all firefighters dedicate many  extra hours to learn, train,                                                               
equip, and respond to local emergency situations.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He stated that  recognition of Alaska Firefighter Day  is a great                                                               
way to demonstrate that  firefighters' personal involvement means                                                               
more  than  what  happens  locally.  He  said  that  the  service                                                               
firefighters perform has  a direct impact on the  quality of life                                                               
of  those   around  them   and  is   recognized  as   a  positive                                                               
contribution  to  Alaska  as  a whole.  He  summarized  that  the                                                               
recognition  of Alaska  Firefighter  Day  during Fire  Prevention                                                               
Week  is   appropriate  when  remembrance   is  given   to  those                                                               
firefighters  who have  lost their  lives in  the performance  of                                                               
their duties.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:10:31 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  stated  that  she had  one  amendment  for  the                                                               
committee to consider.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:11:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE asked  if there was any other  public testimony. He                                                               
announced that public testimony was closed.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MCGUIRE noted  that  she  serves on  the  board for  the                                                               
Alaska  Police and  Fire Chaplains'  Ministries. She  pointed out                                                               
that chaplains are an amazing part  of the fire service. She said                                                               
chaplains are people  that go on the frontlines  and help comfort                                                               
families that lost their loved ones.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MCGUIRE  moved and  asked for  unanimous consent  that on                                                               
line 13, after "search and rescue  personnel" put a comma and add                                                               
"chaplains."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE asked  Senator McGuire  to  repeat her  conceptual                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MCGUIRE restated  that on page 1, line  13, after "search                                                               
and  rescue personnel"  insert a  comma and  add "chaplains,  and                                                               
countless others beyond the field."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:12:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  found no objection  and announced  that [Amendment                                                               
1] is adopted.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  said he  would  like to  make a  personal  dedication to  two                                                               
individuals that  put three to  four decades in  their respective                                                               
fire departments near  the area where he lives.  He cited Charles                                                               
Von Gunten  from the  Butte Volunteer  Fire Department  and Cliff                                                               
Gilmore from the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:13:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS moved to report the  Senate CS for HB 56, version                                                               
\W as amended,  be moved from committee  with individual comments                                                               
and zero fiscal note.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:13:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced that hearing  no objection SCS HB 56(STA)                                                               
is reported from Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:13:48 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
         SB 24-LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS, INTERNS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:15:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SB 24.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:15:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BERTA GARDNER, Alaska  State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
noted  that  responses will  be  provided  for issues  that  were                                                               
raised when the bill was previously heard in the committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:15:42 AM                                                                                                                    
THOMAS  PRESLEY,  Staff,  Senator  Berta  Gardner,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, explained  that two  questions came                                                               
up during  the last committee  meeting: which contracts  would be                                                               
effected by the bill and how  the legislation made it through the                                                               
Ethics Committee.  He noted that  documents were provided  to the                                                               
committee  that listed  contractors and  contracts that  would be                                                               
effected by the bill. He  specified that the bill was unanimously                                                               
passed by the Ethics Committee  based upon changes recommended by                                                               
Joyce Anderson, Daniel Wayne, and Chair Gary Turner.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:18:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE asked that the  record show that Jerry Anderson and                                                               
Joyce Anderson have no affiliation with one another.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:18:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  opined that  ethics  cannot  be legislated.  He                                                               
stated that people  are what they are. He  asked what consultants                                                               
will need to do in order to comply.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRESLEY replied that a  handout was provided to the committee                                                               
at  the previous  meeting that  listed parts  of the  Ethics Code                                                               
that  applies  to  legislators. He  specified  that  prohibitions                                                               
relate to  conflicts of interest,  restrictions on  fund raising,                                                               
restrictions on  employee candidacies, and protection  on whistle                                                               
blowers.  He  concurred  with Senator  Huggins  that  legislating                                                               
ethics is difficult.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:20:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS  replied that he understood  the prohibitions. He                                                               
asked if consultants would have to  be counseled for two hours or                                                               
would a document have to be  signed that attests to their reading                                                               
of the information.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRESLEY replied  that Joyce Anderson and  Jerry Anderson will                                                               
address Senator Huggins'  question. He noted that  there was some                                                               
discussion about  creating a  30 minute online  video and  a form                                                               
that provides information for consultants.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:21:06 AM                                                                                                                    
JOYCE  ANDERSON,  Contractor,  Select  Committee  on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics, Alaska State Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska, noted that she                                                               
was  the  former  administrator  to  the  Ethics  Committee.  She                                                               
replied  that  the  training  requirement  is  not  going  to  be                                                               
required  for   independent  contractors  and   consultants.  She                                                               
explained that  the suggestion  was the Ethics  Office put  out a                                                               
short  video for  a  contractor  or consultant  to  review as  an                                                               
option  and  to   sign  a  form  that  they  are   aware  of  the                                                               
requirements. She said  there would not be  any lengthy training,                                                               
approximate time would be 20 minutes.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:22:19 AM                                                                                                                    
JERRY  ANDERSON,  Committee  Administrator, Select  Committee  on                                                               
Legislative  Ethics, Alaska  State  Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
agreed that  Ms. Anderson's interpretation is  the interpretation                                                               
that the Ethics Committee adopted.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS  asked  why the  Legislature  needs  to  address                                                               
ethics applicability changes  through a bill. He  inquired if the                                                               
Ethics Committee has  the authority to make the  changes on their                                                               
own.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON replied as follows:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  Ethics  Committee  through the  Legislative  Legal                                                                    
     Office has determined that the  committee does not have                                                                    
     the authority  to make this type  of change considering                                                                    
     that  independent   contractors  and   consultants  are                                                                    
     listed  under the  definition  of legislative  employee                                                                    
     and so  when you are  listed as a  legislative employee                                                                    
     you   are  required   to  comply   with   all  of   the                                                                    
     requirements  of the  Legislative  Ethics  Act. So  the                                                                    
     committee felt that, and  through the legal department,                                                                    
     that  they  did not  have  the  authority to  make  the                                                                    
     change without having some sort of legislation passed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:23:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS replied  that he understood. He  pointed out that                                                               
Ms. Anderson used the term "optional" regarding training.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  answered that the  training would be  optional. She                                                               
specified that the requirements  that the independent contractors                                                               
and consultants  would have  to follow are  stipulated in  SB 24.                                                               
She  said  the Ethics  Committee  felt  that training  should  be                                                               
optional and not  mandatory, but that the changes  should be made                                                               
to only require particular parts of the Legislative Ethics Act.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE asked if legislators  will get billed $500 per hour                                                               
by their consultants to take their compliance course.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER replied  that potentially  legislators could  be                                                               
billed, depending  on the  terms of  their contract.  She pointed                                                               
out that consultants are subject  to all parts of the Legislative                                                               
Ethics Act and it does not make sense in all cases.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STOLTZE asked  if there was anyone else  from the public,                                                               
state agencies,  or contractors  that would  like to  testify. He                                                               
noted  that  the next  committee  of  referral is  the  Judiciary                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:25:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  moved  to  report SB  24  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE  announced  that  he   will  talk  to  the  Senate                                                               
President about  adding a Finance  Committee referral due  to the                                                               
potential for extra costs for  legislative contracts. He asked if                                                               
there were any objections to moving the bill out of committee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS commented  that his hope is  that the Legislature                                                               
hires  people  that  have  a  track  record  and  the  hiring  is                                                               
reflective of  what the committee  addressed in  the legislation.                                                               
He  opined that  the bill  was the  equivalent to  "pole vaulting                                                               
over mouse dung."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:26:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced  that there being no objection,  SB 24 is                                                               
reported from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:26:54 AM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Stoltze  adjourned  the   Senate  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee hearing at 9:26 a.m.