Legislature(2001 - 2002)

01/29/2002 03:08 PM MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 31 - POWERS OF US SEN/EMERGENCY APPOINTMENTS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1544                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT announced the next  order of business, HOUSE JOINT                                                               
RESOLUTION  NO.  31, Relating  to  requesting  the United  States                                                               
Congress  to propose  an  amendment to  the  Constitution of  the                                                               
United States  that would address  emergency appointments  to and                                                               
powers of the United States Senate.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1617                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT  OGAN, Alaska State Legislature,  sponsor of                                                               
HJR  31,  noted that  the  U.S.  Constitution  is silent  on  the                                                               
subject of  succession in the  case of  a national disaster.   He                                                               
mentioned the  unprecedented attack  on the nation's  capital [on                                                               
September 11,  2001], followed by  the biological attack  [in the                                                               
form of anthrax sent by mail] on  the offices in the capital.  He                                                               
said those  events brought home a  stark reality:  if  the United                                                               
States were to lose a major  portion of a legislative branch, the                                                               
country  essentially  would be  run  by  martial law  until  that                                                               
legislative branch could be reinstated.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  pointed out  that the  Seventeenth Amendment                                                               
addresses who  succeeds a Senator who  is incapacitated, resigns,                                                               
or dies;  however, it does not  give power to the  legislature to                                                               
"act  as a  legislative branch."   The  Seventeenth Amendment  is                                                               
silent on  filling appointments in  the House.  The  result would                                                               
be - other  than having oversight hearings - an  inability to act                                                               
or pass  legislation, leaving the  nation with only  two branches                                                               
of government:  executive and judiciary.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  surmised that  the  [writers  of the  U.S.]                                                               
Constitution  never envisioned  weapons  of  mass destruction  or                                                               
biological and chemical weapons.   Therefore, partly for the sake                                                               
of  discussion,   HJR  31  suggests  that   if  Congress  becomes                                                               
dysfunctional   because   of    these   unthinkable   acts,   the                                                               
legislatures  would appoint  within ten  days a  new Senate;  the                                                               
Senate would act as a  temporary unicameral body, with the powers                                                               
of the [full] legislature, until a House could be appointed.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   OGAN  indicated   a   U.S.  Congressman   [later                                                               
clarified to be Congressman Baird  of Washington] was proposing a                                                               
U.S.  constitutional amendment  whereby  if the  number of  House                                                               
members  drops below  two-thirds  [later clarified  to be  three-                                                               
quarters], the states  would be allowed to  appoint House members                                                               
to fill  that vacancy.  He  said, "That's fine. ...  There's more                                                               
than one way to skin a cat here on this one."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   OGAN  explained   that  the   idea  behind   the                                                               
resolution was to  highlight the fact that  the U.S. Constitution                                                               
does not address  this issue and to encourage Congress  to do so.                                                               
He said  it is unfortunate  that the  country is faced  with this                                                               
issue, but  one of the  best responses to terrorists'  threats is                                                               
to guarantee that  operation of all three  branches of government                                                               
would be functional subsequent to an attack.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1883                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  offered his interpretation  that if there  were a                                                               
catastrophe [in  Washington, D.C.]  the states would  issue writs                                                               
for an election  to fill the vacancies.   He asked Representative                                                               
Ogan if  the intent of  HJR 31 is  to consider having  either the                                                               
state House or  state Senate, rather than the  public, decide who                                                               
would be elected for the short term.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN admitted  it has  been a  pipe dream  of his                                                               
that   the   legislators   would  appoint   the   [U.S.]   Senate                                                               
replacements; that was the way it used  to be.  He stated that he                                                               
would not object, however, if  the resolution were amended to say                                                               
that the governor would appoint  [the replacements]; that process                                                               
would be more  efficient than having to call  special sessions of                                                               
the legislature.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1975                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN referred  to  a portion  of the  Seventeenth                                                               
Amendment and said:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     When  vacancies happen  in  the  representation of  any                                                                    
     state in  the Senate,  the executive authority  of such                                                                    
     state  shall  issue  writs of  election  to  fill  such                                                                    
     vacancies, provided  that the legislature of  any state                                                                    
     may  empower the  executive thereof  to make  temporary                                                                    
     appointments  until the  people fill  the vacancies  by                                                                    
     election as the legislature may direct.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  [referring  to  the last  line]  said,  "We                                                               
recently took  some action  on that  and vetoed  the right  a few                                                               
days  back, or  a week  or two  ago."   He stated  that the  U.S.                                                               
Constitution does not  address House members.  He  noted that the                                                               
nation has  lived under the threat  of nuclear attack for  a long                                                               
time.   For example, he  was trained to  dive under his  desk [in                                                               
school]; the  general thinking then,  however, was that  if there                                                               
were  a  nuclear war,  there  would  be  nothing left  to  govern                                                               
anyway.    Only recently  has  there  been the  possibility  that                                                               
"these sorts  of weapons" would  fall into the hands  of despots,                                                               
tyrants, and terrorists.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2062                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked why  the resolution relates to the                                                               
Senate.   She  stated her  comprehension that  the privilege  was                                                               
already in  place to address  vacancies in the Senate;  she cited                                                               
the  aforementioned reference  to  executive  authority to  issue                                                               
[writs of] election or make  temporary appointments.  She offered                                                               
her understanding  that what  is missing is  a procedure  for the                                                               
U.S.  House of  Representatives.   She asked  Representative Ogan                                                               
for an explanation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2114                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN answered  that there is more than  one way to                                                               
address  this   issue;  he  reiterated  his   previous  testimony                                                               
regarding  Congressman [Baird's]  proposed amendment.   He  noted                                                               
that  there are  a larger  number of  House members;  the process                                                               
involved would  possibly be more  arduous and, therefore,  not as                                                               
expedient.   In  the case  of  a national  emergency, the  nation                                                               
needs  [to  reestablish]  an operative  legislative  branch  very                                                               
quickly.   He described  his idea,  to give  temporary unicameral                                                               
powers to the Senate to act  as the body of the legislature until                                                               
a House could  be elected.  He surmised that  he was keeping with                                                               
the Founding Fathers'  idea that Senators have so  much power and                                                               
there  are fewer  of them;  therefore, it  is more  imperative to                                                               
appoint their  seats and allow  the election process to  fill the                                                               
House  seats.    He  added  that he  did  not  think  anyone  had                                                               
envisioned that a majority of the  House ever would be wiped out,                                                               
because there are so many members.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN conceded  that Congressman [Baird's] proposal                                                               
might be  a more practical  way to go.   He mentioned  that words                                                               
such as "may" and "might" are  used in the resolution.  He stated                                                               
his   certainty   that   Congress,  despite   the   knowledgeable                                                               
recommendations  of  the  Alaska State  Legislature,  may  choose                                                               
another course of  action.  The idea behind the  resolution is to                                                               
make U.S.  Congress aware of  the issue, to  generate discussion,                                                               
and to suggest - not force - a solution.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2228                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  referred to  a section  of HJR  31 that                                                               
began on page 2, line 7, and read:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
       FURTHER RESOLVED that the proposed amendment also                                                                      
     might permit the United States Senate to exercise all                                                                      
     of  the  powers of  the  United  States Congress  if  a                                                                    
     majority of  the seats  in the  United States  House of                                                                    
     Representatives  were   to  become  vacant   and  might                                                                    
     establish  procedures  under  which the  United  States                                                                    
     Senate  would  temporarily  act as  a  unicameral  body                                                                    
     until  vacancies   in  the   United  States   House  of                                                                    
     Representatives are filled.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  suggested perhaps  HJR 31  should focus                                                               
on the foregoing  because the "accommodation for  the vacancy, or                                                               
... the  discussion about  how the  vacancies are  fulfilled, are                                                               
included  in the  amendment."   She  further  suggested that  the                                                               
"Resolved" clause  that talks about  filling vacancies  might not                                                               
be needed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2282                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   OGAN  emphasized   the  importance   of  quickly                                                               
restoring a  functional third  branch of  government in  order to                                                               
deal with emergencies;  that is why it is more  efficient to have                                                               
a temporary  unicameral body.   He  noted that  HJR 31  says this                                                               
would be done in ten days [on page  2, line 5].  He said it would                                                               
be  difficult to  reappoint the  majority of  the Senate  without                                                               
also having to reappoint a majority of the House.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2342                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  recalled that in every  legislative session                                                               
but  the  current one,  he  has  introduced legislation  to  have                                                               
Alaska adopt  a unicameral government,  for reasons he  would not                                                               
delve into  at present.   He mentioned  big states  versus little                                                               
states  as the  reason  the nation  has a  Senate  and House;  he                                                               
indicated it  was a compromise.   He suggested if 230  members of                                                               
the  House were  lost, there  still would  be more  House members                                                               
than  Senate  members,  and  the  Senate would  be  acting  as  a                                                               
unicameral  government.   He stated  his concern  that "we  would                                                               
then   really  be   waving  a   flag  saying,   'Oh,  all   those                                                               
Representatives that are left are of no account.'"                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2398                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN replied  that  he had  no  problem with  the                                                               
suggested language changes.  More  important, he wanted the issue                                                               
raised so that, hopefully, Congress  would consider it and make a                                                               
decision.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2427                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI   said  she  would  like   to  see  the                                                               
aforementioned amendment  by Congressman [Baird] included  in HJR
31  as a  "Whereas" clause,  to lend  the committee's  support to                                                               
that legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2461                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN, in  response to a request  for a description                                                               
of  the  federal  legislation,  read  the  following  from  newly                                                               
received information:  "Brian Baird  of Washington has introduced                                                               
a constitutional amendment that  would allow governors to appoint                                                               
U.S.  House  members to  90-day  terms  in  the event  that  one-                                                               
quarter of all Representatives were killed."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2537                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT noted  that  the  Seventeenth Amendment  provides                                                               
that the  legislature of the  state may empower the  executive to                                                               
make temporary  appointments.  He  made reference to  language in                                                               
HJR 31 beginning on page 2, line 4, which read:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ... the legislatures of each of the states with vacant                                                                     
      seats would make appointments within 10 days to fill                                                                      
     those vacancies; ...                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  reiterated that legislators used  to appoint                                                               
[U.S.] Senators; he suggested that  Senators therefore used to be                                                               
more accountable to  the legislators.  He emphasized  that he did                                                               
not intend any disparagement toward the current delegation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2595                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   OGAN,   in   response   to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative  Kott, clarified  that  the Seventeenth  Amendment                                                               
was passed  by Congress on  May 13,  1912, and ratified  April 8,                                                               
1913.   As of April  9, 1913,  [U.S.] Senators were  elected, not                                                               
appointed by the legislators.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2607                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES  offered Amendment  1:  On  page 2,  line 4,                                                               
change "legislatures" to "governor".                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES  explained  that the  executive  branch  is                                                               
available  year-round,  whereas  the legislators  are  part-time.                                                               
Giving the executive branch authority  to appoint would avoid the                                                               
possible  need   for  a  special  legislative   session  and  the                                                               
resulting  rancor;  it  would  result  in  an  easier,  "cleaner"                                                               
process within our present system.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  agreed with Amendment  1, adding, "I  got my                                                               
moment on the soap box."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2675                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  asked whether there  were any objections.   There                                                               
being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT asked  whether there  was public  testimony; none                                                               
was offered.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2691                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI explained  her reasoning  for a  second                                                               
amendment.   She referred to  language beginning on page  1, line                                                               
5,  which read,  "WHEREAS the  terrible events  of September  11,                                                             
2001, have demonstrated  that the United States  is vulnerable to                                                               
attack  by terrorists".   She  emphasized the  need to  recognize                                                               
that September  11, 2001, was not  the first time the  nation has                                                               
been attacked by terrorists; for  example, the World Trade Center                                                               
also was attacked in 1993.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI   [moved  to  adopt]  Amendment   2  as                                                               
follows:  On page 1, line  5, change "have demonstrated" to "have                                                               
again demonstrated".                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  replied  that   he  was  amenable  to  that                                                               
amendment.  He noted that the  English had at one time burned the                                                               
White House, so [terrorism] has been going on for a long time.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2751                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  asked whether there  were any objections.   There                                                               
being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2761                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI began  discussion of  a possible  third                                                               
amendment.    She  indicated  the   third  "Whereas"  clause  and                                                               
referred  to  Representative  Ogan's testimony  that  the  [U.S.]                                                               
Constitution is  "silent" regarding  the succession  in question.                                                               
She noted that  the term "inadequate" is used  in the resolution,                                                               
[page 1, lines 9-12], which read:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          WHEREAS the Constitution of the United States has                                                                   
     procedures  that are  inadequate to  enable the  United                                                                    
     States Congress  to continue to function  if a majority                                                                    
     of its seats were to become  vacant due to an attack on                                                                    
     the Unite States  or as a result of  a natural disaster                                                                    
     or other emergency;...                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked if it  would be better to say that                                                               
the U.S. Constitution  is "silent" on it.  She  surmised that the                                                               
end  result would  be  the same.    She requested  Representative                                                               
Ogan's input.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2801                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  said he wouldn't  object to  her suggestion.                                                               
He  reiterated  his main  intent,  to  present the  issue  before                                                               
Congress, where any "hairsplitting" could be done.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2818                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  moved to  adopt conceptual  Amendment 3                                                               
regarding the  aforementioned language  [page 1, lines  9-12], to                                                               
reflect that  the procedures  are silent  with regard  to filling                                                               
the  vacancies  in the  event  of  a  natural disaster  or  other                                                               
attack.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2841                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  clarified that  the resolution  should still                                                               
state  that [the  U.S. Constitution's  procedures] are  silent in                                                               
regard to  Congress's continuing  to function,  for example.   He                                                               
asked Representative Murkowski if that was her intention.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI answered in the affirmative.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2870                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT asked  whether there  was any  objection.   There                                                               
being no objection, conceptual Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2887                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  stated that  he wanted  to think  about the                                                               
"unicameral" issue, lest there be "mischief."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2912                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN asked  to address  that  comment and  stated                                                               
that  he   found  it   interesting.    He   noted  that   he  and                                                               
Representative Green  have found themselves on  opposite sides of                                                               
the unicameral issue  in the legislature and now  on this [issue]                                                               
as well.   He  mentioned efficiency and  suggested that  [HJR 31]                                                               
could specify  that within 90 days  a House would be  elected; he                                                               
said that  may "time" with what  Congressman Baird is doing.   He                                                               
added  that at  least [the  language of  the resolution  could be                                                               
written such that]  a third branch [of  government] could quickly                                                               
be functional.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN offered  his belief  that the  [U.S.] Senate                                                               
declares war, not both houses.   He questioned whether the Senate                                                               
could pass bills to get money  to fund a war effort, for example,                                                               
and stated  his belief that  the nation  would be crippled  if it                                                               
did not have both houses  functioning, or have temporary power in                                                               
one house.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-6, SIDE B                                                                                                               
Number 2971                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN mentioned  90 days  to appoint  a house  and                                                               
said  it  was "just  another  spin,  another  thing for  them  to                                                               
consider when  they deliberate the  issue in  Congressman Baird's                                                               
bill."   He  suggested a  hybrid of  both approaches  may be  the                                                               
final outcome.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2957                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said the following:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     You are  correct:   It is the  U.S. Senate  that issues                                                                    
     the  declaration  of war;  however,  I  might add  that                                                                    
     absent   that  declaration,   the  President,   [under]                                                                    
     Article I, has  the power to basically do  the same ...                                                                    
     by using  the War  Powers  Act.   Certainly,  under his                                                                    
     emergency powers  [or] provisions, he could  put forces                                                                    
     in place  or do some  things that perhaps  the Congress                                                                    
     would do if they were there.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  indicated it really  gets down to  the issue                                                               
of  whether it  is  unicameral.   For  example,  if  an act  were                                                               
committed that wiped out the  U.S. Senate except for Alaska's two                                                               
Senators,  there  would  be  two  Senators  left  and  435  House                                                               
members.  He asked:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Would,  then,  the  House,  in   unison  with  our  two                                                                    
     Senators, act as a cameral  legislature?  Would that be                                                                    
     envisioned, or would we then  not bring government to a                                                                    
     halt,  awaiting the  appointments  ...  within the  ten                                                                    
     days? ...  Would, then,  we wait for  ten days  for the                                                                    
     other 98  Senators to  be appointed,  or would  we then                                                                    
     envision  the  House  acting in  unison  with  our  two                                                                    
     Senators in that cameral legislature, or Congress?                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2873                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded  that it was a good  question.  The                                                               
constitution  gives  the governor  the  power  to reappoint,  but                                                               
doesn't set  a time  limit; he  surmised that  the task  would be                                                               
done quickly,  however.   He asked the  committee to  imagine the                                                               
worst-case scenario,  when suddenly there is  no legislative body                                                               
to keep  the President  in check.   He  mentioned the  War Powers                                                               
Act,  which allows  the President  to  [make decisions  regarding                                                               
national defense].   He  said it is  imperative that  the checks-                                                               
and-balances system of our nation be kept intact.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  reminded  members  of  his  hope  that  the                                                               
resolution would  generate discussion  and elicit a  solution [in                                                               
Congress].   He concluded, "I  think the  sanctity of our  way of                                                               
life and our liberties and our  country need to be protected with                                                               
this."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number2782                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  began discussion  of what  would become                                                               
Amendment 4.   She brought attention to page 1,  lines 13-15, and                                                               
page 2, lines 1-2, which read:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature                                                                      
     that the Congress of the  United States is respectfully                                                                    
     requested  to  propose  and submit  to  the  states  an                                                                    
     amendment  to the  Constitution  of  the United  States                                                                    
     that  would establish  procedures  to  ensure that  the                                                                    
     United States Congress will  continue to function after                                                                    
     emergencies which cause many vacancies in the body ...                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    MURKOWSKI   proposed    that   the    foregoing                                                               
encapsulates all that is necessary  to address in the resolution.                                                               
She  expressed  appreciation of  the  concern  of establishing  a                                                               
deadline,  however.   Agreeing that  [Congress] would  figure out                                                               
the details  anyway, she suggested  the committee need  not spend                                                               
time discussing  the unicameral-versus-bicameral issue.   The one                                                               
"Resolved" clause would be sufficient  if the committee wanted to                                                               
say, in  effect, "Congress, address this,  because it's important                                                               
and we, the State of Alaska, recognize that it's important."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  responded that  Representative  Murkowski's                                                               
idea was exactly what he'd been looking for.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2481                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI moved  to adopt  Amendment 4,  removing                                                               
the two ["Further Resolved" clauses] from page 2, lines [3-11].                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2659                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[There was an objection for purposes of discussion.]                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  indicated he  and Representative  Ogan both                                                               
are  fond of  the  Tenth Amendment.   He  asked  whether all  the                                                               
states would  have to  ratify [a proposed  amendment to  the U.S.                                                               
Constitution] to give Congress the authority.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  offered his belief  that it would  require a                                                               
two-thirds vote of  the U.S. Congress and  that three-quarters of                                                               
the  states would  have to  ratify  it.   He asked  his staff  to                                                               
review his notes to verify that.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  said he thought  it was correct.   He noted                                                               
that the committee could submit  this resolution, but by the time                                                               
[a proposed amendment]  came back from the  federal government, a                                                               
different state  legislature could be  in place.  He  compared it                                                               
to  when  [President Woodrow]  Wilson  championed  the League  of                                                               
Nations but his  own Congress would not support it.   He pondered                                                               
whether, if [HJR  31] were sent to Congress, it  would be left to                                                               
the   next   state   legislature    to   ratify   [any   proposed                                                               
constitutional amendment passed by Congress as a result].                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  suggested his own resolution  is just asking                                                               
Congress  to think  about it.   He  agreed it  would be  up to  a                                                               
future legislature to ratify [any  such amendment].  He suggested                                                               
perhaps,  because  of [the  terrorist  attacks  of September  11,                                                               
2001],  Congress  would  pass   a  resolution  expeditiously  and                                                               
legislators everywhere  would get  onboard with  addressing this.                                                               
He  pointed out  that if  Congress  doesn't do  a good  job on  a                                                               
[proposed amendment], then three-quarters  of the states wouldn't                                                               
[ratify] it.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2484                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  agreed that  it would  require three-fourths                                                               
of the  states for ratification.   He offered his belief  that it                                                               
must happen  within seven - perhaps  six - years.   He stated his                                                               
certainty  that Congress  would  do  what it  thought  best.   He                                                               
mentioned  the Connecticut  Compromise and  the system  of checks                                                               
and balances;  he said  the states want  to have  their interests                                                               
looked   out  for.     He   noted  that   another  option   is  a                                                               
[constitutional]  convention   for  ratification.  He   said  the                                                               
amendment  process is  the only  way "to  get from  there to  the                                                               
future."  He stated that he is now supportive of HJR 31.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2409                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI pointed out  that adoption of [Amendment                                                               
4] would affect [Amendment 1].                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT specified  that  [if Amendment  4] were  adopted,                                                               
Amendment  1 would  be "deleted"  and  Amendments 2  and 3  would                                                               
[remain].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2375                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  said he  had  no  objection, but  might  be                                                               
tempted to reoffer this [deleted  section as an amendment] on the                                                               
floor  "just for  the  sake of  the  intelligent discussion  that                                                               
we've had here today."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2358                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT   asked  whether  there  was   any  objection  to                                                               
Amendment 4.  There being no objection, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2338                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referred to [page 1, lines 5-6], which read:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          WHEREAS the terrible events of September 11,                                                                        
       2001, have demonstrated that the United States is                                                                        
     vulnerable to attack by terrorists; ...                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT asked  whether  "was" should  be changed  to                                                               
"is".   Noting  that perhaps  $34  million has  been invested  in                                                               
"homeland security," he  said he hoped the public  thought it was                                                               
money well  spent and that  the nation  was less vulnerable.   He                                                               
pondered  whether the  nation  is still  vulnerable  and said  he                                                               
would like  to think  it is  not.   In response  to a  comment by                                                               
Representative Green,  Representative Kott articulated  that [the                                                               
nation's people] don't know what  all has been done, but probably                                                               
many things have been done behind  the scenes.  He said he didn't                                                               
want  to send  a message  to the  terrorists that  the nation  is                                                               
still vulnerable.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2283                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  pointed out  that  if  the nation  was                                                               
vulnerable previously but [the resolution]  says it no longer is,                                                               
this resolution requesting an amendment  to the U.S. Constitution                                                               
is no longer necessary.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KOTT  concurred   with  regard   to  terrorists;                                                               
however,  natural  disasters  are   included,  which  "brings  in                                                               
another parameter that we haven't  really discussed, and I think,                                                               
probably, we  shouldn't at this  point."  He concluded  by saying                                                               
he was satisfied  with the resolution.  In response  to a comment                                                               
by Chair Chenault, he offered to move the resolution.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2257                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  mentioned information in the  packet stating                                                               
that President  Bush has, through an  executive order, formalized                                                               
lines of succession for  seven Cabinet departments, demonstrating                                                               
that the federal government is  painfully aware of the threats of                                                               
terrorism.  He stated his belief that  there is no way, as a free                                                               
society,  that  [the  U.S.]  will   ever  be  invulnerable.    He                                                               
paraphrased a  statement by Benjamin  Franklin that  read, "Those                                                               
who  would  give  up  essential Liberty,  to  purchase  a  little                                                               
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said  he would rather see  these measures put                                                               
into  place; he  mentioned  taking  risks such  as  flying in  an                                                               
airplane and  being televised  during public  committee meetings,                                                               
the latter  of which may raise  the ire of somebody  who wants to                                                               
see the destruction  of our country.  He referred  to the sponsor                                                               
statement and  said it  suggests that  "one of  the best  ways to                                                               
guarantee our liberties  is to have a continued  operation of our                                                               
republic  the   way  it  was  designed."     Representative  Ogan                                                               
concluded  that [the  U.S.] will  never be  able to  stop someone                                                               
bent on his own destruction as well  as that of the U.S.  He said                                                               
that is the  price [Americans] pay for liberties,  and Alaska can                                                               
do its part to ensure that the republic continues to stand.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2148                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  referred to  the title and  pointed out                                                               
that  no  reference  is  made   to  "emergency  appointments"  in                                                               
Amendment 4; rather, it is  to the establishment of procedures to                                                               
allow for the continuity of government operation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2091                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  moved to adopt conceptual  Amendment 5,                                                               
to conform the title to the previously adopted amendments.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  asked whether there  were any objections.   There                                                               
being no objection, conceptual Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2073                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  moved to report  HJR 31, as amended,  out of                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2052                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  objected,  specifying that  he  wanted  to                                                               
consider  further   what  "mischief"  could  be   caused  by  the                                                               
resolution  in conflict  with the  Tenth Amendment  [to the  U.S.                                                               
Constitution].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2026                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT suggested that  the resolution be referred to                                                               
the  House Judiciary  Standing Committee.   He  added his  belief                                                               
that  there  is  no  great  urgency as  long  as  it  moves  this                                                               
legislative session.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded  that he would be  able to satisfy                                                               
his  concerns  by  the  next  committee  meeting.    He  said  he                                                               
champions the  Tenth Amendment and  had not looked  previously at                                                               
the resolution as it relates to that.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1972                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  said, "There's always the  amendment process                                                               
on the floor, and I'm sure  it would be a lively and intellectual                                                               
discussion  there too."    He  emphasized that  he  did not  feel                                                               
"ownership" of the language of  the resolution; rather, he simply                                                               
wanted the issue to be brought before [Congress].                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1952                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES suggested  it  may be  more appropriate  to                                                               
assign  the resolution  to  a subcommittee  in  order to  address                                                               
Representative   Green's  concerns.      He   pointed  out   that                                                               
Representative  Green  isn't  on  the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT said  the  committee could  follow  that line  of                                                               
action  or   recommend  a  House  Judiciary   Standing  Committee                                                               
referral and move the resolution out.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  noted  that [a  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee referral] would delay the resolution more.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Masek, Murkowski,                                                               
Kott, Cissna,  and Chenault voted  to report HJR 31,  as amended,                                                               
from committee.   Representatives  Green and Hayes  voted against                                                               
it.   Therefore, CSHJR 31(MLV)  was moved from the  House Special                                                               
Committee on Military  and Veterans' Affairs committee  by a vote                                                               
of 5-2.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN invited  committee  members  to discuss  the                                                               
resolution with  him, to address  concerns before it went  to the                                                               
[House  State Affairs  Standing Committee].   [CSHJR  31(MLV) was                                                               
moved from committee.]                                                                                                          

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