Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/30/1998 03:20 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 400 - DEPT OF COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                              
Number 0035                                                                    
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG announced the committee's first order of business            
was HB 400, "An Act combining parts of the Department of Commerce              
and Economic Development and parts of the Department of Community              
and Regional Affairs by transferring some of their duties to a new             
Department of Commerce and Rural Development; transferring some of             
the duties of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development              
and the Department of Community and Regional Affairs to other                  
existing agencies; eliminating the Department of Commerce and                  
Economic Development and the Department of Community and Regional              
Affairs; relating to the Department of Commerce and Rural                      
Development; adjusting the membership of certain multi-member                  
bodies to reflect the transfer of duties among departments and the             
elimination of departments; and providing for an effective date."              
Number 0060                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN COWDERY made a motion to adopt the proposed                
committee substitute for HB 400, labeled 0-LS1375\F, Lauterbach,               
dated 3/23/98.                                                                 
Number 0090                                                                    
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if there were any objections.  Hearing                 
none, Version F was before the committee.                                      
REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY explained Version F as chairman of the                  
subcommittee on HB 400, stating the subcommittee had met with the              
bill sponsor and addressed a number of the committee's concerns.               
He noted a primary concern was the $1.6 million fiscal note                    
attached to the original bill version by the Department of Commerce            
and Economic Development (DCED).  After the subcommittee's                     
discussions with the Administration and DCED regarding the staff               
relocations necessary under the bill, the bill sponsor worked with             
Representative Cowdery's office to develop what they believe is "a             
more realistic financial view of the merger."  Representative                  
Cowdery said the subcommittee's findings are expressed in the                  
fiscal notes before the committee; it concluded the total cost of              
the necessary relocations would be $200,000 or less.                           
Representative Cowdery said he believes the long-term savings of up            
to $1 million per year offered by the merger clearly justifies the             
$200,000 overhead.  Representative Cowdery stated the subcommittee             
believes Version F, the proposed committee substitute, is ready to             
be moved to the next committee of referral.                                    
Number 0203                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA confirmed the fiscal note approved by               
Representative Kohring is the fiscal note the committee is dealing             
Number 0220                                                                    
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated the fiscal note Representative Kubina              
referred to was before the committee, noting HB 400 had a further              
referral to the House Finance Standing Committee.                              
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he would like to see the department's               
fiscal note, noting he did not have a copy.                                    
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG requested Representative Kubina be provided a                
copy of the original departmental fiscal note.                                 
Number 0269                                                                    
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG called a brief at ease at 3:23 p.m.  The                     
committee came back to order at 3:24 p.m. [NOTE: THE TAPE WAS                  
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG stated "... had a fiscal note from the                       
department.  Mr. Bush, you signed up to testify.  Would you like to            
explain this fiscal note, please?"                                             
Number 0270                                                                    
JEFF BUSH, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Commerce and Economic            
Development, came forward to testify.  He said the department had              
updated the fiscal note based on the work draft of the proposed                
committee substitute which had been provided to the department.                
Mr. Bush said the changes were fairly minor, and some were based on            
technical changes.  A significant change in the proposed committee             
substitute is that "international trade" would go to the Office of             
the Governor, rather remaining in the new department.  Mr. Bush                
said that reflects a slight savings because the four people doing              
international trade would not have to be relocated with the new                
department, they would remain with the governor's office, going to             
the Bank of America building [5 West Seventh Avenue in Anchorage,              
to be renamed the Robert B. Atwood Building].  He stated DCED has              
also provided worksheets attached to the fiscal note, pages 6 and              
7, answering some of the earlier questions about how the moving                
costs were calculated.  Mr. Bush indicated the calculation by the              
Department of Administration of the $6,100 per person moving cost              
had been explained in a letter already provided to the committee.              
He said page 7 of the fiscal note showed how the $125,000 data                 
processing costs for the transfer were calculated.  He noted the               
$22,500 cost for the new child care office and $23,500 for the new             
Job Training Partnership Office (JTPO).  Mr. Bush explained the two            
bottom sections showed the two options of switching the Department             
of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) to DCED's computer system             
DCED (DCED Option 1, $74,220) or vice versa (DCED Option 2,                    
$77,500).  He indicated these were relatively rough estimates and              
noted the total data processing expenses would be approximately                
$125,000.  Mr. Bush noted one less administrative service staff                
person would be moved due to an error in the original calculations,            
and he indicated the rest of the changes were fairly small and of              
that nature.                                                                   
Number 0484                                                                    
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG recommended that the committee move both fiscal              
notes, asking if there were any questions for Mr. Bush.  Hearing               
none, Chairman Rokeberg stated the public hearing was closed and               
asked if there was any discussion among the committee members.  He             
commented, "I'd like to -- (indisc.) fiscal notes."  Noting the                
subcommittee's work and discussions in this area, Chairman Rokeberg            
said he considered the $1.6 million moving costs, 260 positions, to            
be absolutely contrary to the understanding of the committee and               
the instructions from the subcommittee on the bill.  He stated he              
would say the sponsor's fiscal note has greater credibility than               
the department's fiscal note because the subcommittee's work                   
indicates there is a minimal need for any physical relocation of               
office premises, the nature of the department's fiscal note.                   
Chairman Rokeberg commented he thought that would stand up and                 
indicated the House Finance Standing Committee could address it                
with appropriate intent language.  He said he didn't think these               
movements were necessary, noting much of the moving would take                 
place over a period of years as lease expirations naturally                    
occurred.  He said the subcommittee testimony tapes were available             
as part of the public record [House Labor and Commerce Standing                
Committee subcommittee on HB 400 met March 21, 1998].  Chairman                
Rokeberg stated he would like a motion on HB 400.                              
Number 0617                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY made a motion to move the proposed committee            
substitute for HB 400, Version F, labeled 0-LS1375\F, Lauterbach,              
dated 3/23/98, to the next committee of referral with the                      
accompanying two fiscal notes and individual recommendations.                  
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if there were any objections.                          
REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE objected to the motion.  He stated all HB
400 does is make small government into big, noting that was the                
reason for his objection.                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if there were further comments.                        
Number 0688                                                                    
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG called a brief at ease at 3:29 p.m.  The                     
committee came back to order at 3:30 p.m.                                      
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA stated he would not object to moving a bill              
with fiscal implications to the House Finance Standing Committee,              
indicating the issue might as well be decided in that committee.               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Representative Brice if he wanted to                   
maintain his objection.                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE answered in the affirmative.                              
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Rokeberg, Cowdery,                
Sanders, Ryan and Kubina voted in favor of moving the proposed                 
committee substitute.  Representative Brice voted against it.                  
Representative Hudson was absent.  Therefore, CSHB 400(L&C) moved              
from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee by a vote of              

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