Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/27/1996 11:10 AM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SSCR 1 DISAPPROVING EXECUTIVE ORDER 92 SENATOR LEMAN announced they would consider SSCR 1. SENATOR PEARCE moved to adopt the CS to SSCR 1. There were no objections and it was so ordered. HSCR 1 DISAPPROVING EXECUTIVE ORDER 92 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if there were any objections to adopting the CS to HSCR 1. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES objected to the reference on lines 10 and 11 including the Division of Mining. He said he had an amendment that would take care of his concern. REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS moved to adopt work draft version "c" to HSCR 1. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked for a roll call vote. REPRESENTATIVES LONG and DAVIES voted no; REPRESENTATIVES NICHOLIA, AUSTERMAN, WILLIAMS and GREEN voted yes; and the motion carried. Number 084 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA changed her vote from yes to no. There was a brief discussion regarding procedure in a joint committee meeting. GEORGE UTERHMOHLE, Counsel, Legislative Legal and Research Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, explained that the two resolutions each had been referred to the Committees that are meeting jointly today and each Committee would have to take action independently. Number 130 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to adopt the CS to HSCR 1. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN objected for a point of order. He said there was a motion on the floor already. SENATOR LEMAN explained that that motion failed on a 3/3 vote. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT again moved to adopt the CS to HSCR 1. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected saying they had already dealt with that motion. Number 180 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to rescind the action. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN announced an at ease for the House members at 11:20 a.m. and called the meeting back to order at 11:21 a.m. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to rescind the earlier failure to adopt the CS to HSCR 1. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked for a roll call vote. REPRESENTATIVES NICHOLIA and LONG voted no; REPRESENTATIVES AUSTERMAN, KOTT, OGAN, WILLIAMS and GREEN voted yes; and the motion carried. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to adopt CS to HSCR 1. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked for a roll call vote. REPRESENTATIVES NICHOLIA and DAVIES voted no; REPRESENTATIVES LONG AUSTERMAN, KOTT, OGAN, WILLIAMS and GREEN voted yes; and the motion carried. SENATOR LEMAN reiterated there were no objections from the Senate members in passing the CS to SSCR 1. Number 260 NICO BUS, DNR, opposed CSSSCR 1. He said last year the director of the Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey (DGGS) funding was deleted by the legislature and this year they have had to deal with that lack of funding. Their choices were to either hire a new position and find funding somewhere and then sacrifice field operations or to do what is proposed in Executive Order 92. CSSSCR 1 proposes to merge the DGGS with the Division of Mining and Water and there are several reasons why this wouldn't work. One is that AS 41.08.015 requires that the state geologist be suited by education and experience to be the head of Geological Survey. Currently, the director of the Division of Mining does not meet that criteria. Another reason is that the Division of Mining budget is weak in that it barely supports mining activity. Combining it with DGGS which is also struggling for funding would make a weak organization. The DGGS strongly supports EO 92 which would also actually save $50,000 in administrative service costs. SENATOR LEMAN asked how the $50,000 savings would accrue. MR. BUS replied that each one of the divisions has an administrative support group and by combining the two, one support position could be eliminated. MR. BUS said the head of the division was already deleted in last year's budget. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked him to comment on his preference on combining with any division in comparison with the Division of Mining. MR. BUS said they prefer that DGGS be a separate organization. He added that combining the two divisions was attempted in 1986 and it didn't work. Both the state and industry had problems. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the Division of Oil and Gas and the DGGS were combined if the staff would at least be utilized part time on pre-sale analysis rather than the charge they are given in statute. MR. BUS replied that basically DGGS would continue to fulfill their mission, but the expertise in both divisions could be shared to the benefit of each. Number 300 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the divisions were strapped financially and if expertise would further strap them to the point where they're not fulfilling their obligations under statute. MR. BUS replied that the Governor's 1997 budget as proposed allows the DGGS to meet its statutory requirements. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if in the past under various RSA arrangements and other agreements that the DGGS staff have assisted in base analysis functions for the Division of Oil and Gas. He asked wouldn't that be possible in the future, whether or not these combinations occur. MR. BUS said that had happened in the past through contractual arrangements. That could also happen in the future. Number 332 SENATOR LINCOLN said the industry had objections in 1986 to what this resolution does and asked him to explain them. MR. BUS replied that was before his time, but he would get back to her with that information. SENATOR PEARCE moved to pass CSSSCR 1 from committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. There was an objection and SENATOR LEMAN asked for a roll call vote. SENATORS HOFFMAN and LINCOLN voted no; SENATORS TAYLOR, HALFORD, PEARCE and LEMAN voted yes; and the motion passed. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS moved to pass CSHSCR 1 from Committee with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATAIVE DAVIES moved to amend to strike the WHEREAS on page 1, lines 10 - 11. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS objected. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES explained that they had heard from the department that if they are not going to be combined with Division of Oil and Gas, they would prefer to leave the DGGS as a separate division as combining with the Division of Mining and Water was tried in the past and did not work. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS withdrew his motion. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted there was pending legislation that would keep the divisions separate; there would be direction given, but not through the Division of Mines. REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA asked if anyone from industry was here to discuss this amendment. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied there wasn't anyone from industry to his knowledge. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES commented that the existence of other legislation, while interesting, is probably not pertinent. If that legislation were to be adopted there would be no need for the WHEREAS. He preferred to remove it now and deal with the other legislation as it comes along. REPRESENTATIVE LONG asked since that WHEREAS is just a referencing statement, what affect would it have on the resolution. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said it helped to explain the reason for this resolution. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES explained that part of his reason for this amendment is that he doesn't believe efficiencies could be accomplished by that incorporation. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN called for a roll call vote on the amendment. REPRESENTATIVES GREEN, WILLIAMS, OGAN, KOTT and AUSTERMAN voted no; REPRESENTATIVES DAVIES, LONG and NICHOLIA voted yes; and the motion failed. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS moved to pass CSHSCR 1 from Committee with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked for a roll call vote. REPRESENTATIVES NICHOLIA, LONG and DAVIES voted no; REPRESENTATIVES AUSTERMAN, KOTT, OGAN, WILLIAMS and GREEN voted yes; and the motion passed.