Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

04/27/2005 08:00 AM RULES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= SB 51 PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
Moved HCS CSSB 51(RLS) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= HB 98 NONUNION PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SALARY & BENEFIT
Moved CSHB 98(RLS) Out of Committee
HB  98-NONUNION PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SALARY & BENEFIT                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:03:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 98,  "An Act  relating to the  compensation of                                                               
certain public officials, officers,  and employees not covered by                                                               
collective bargaining agreements; and  providing for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:03:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved Amendment 1, labeled 24-GH1099\G.5,                                                                
Craver, 4/25/05, which read:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 3:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Section 1.  AS 39.20.080(a) is amended to read:                                                                  
          (a)  The monthly salary of the head of each                                                                           
     principal  executive department  of  the  state is  not                                                                
     less than  Range 28  nor more than  Range 30  [EQUAL TO                                                                
     STEP   E,  RANGE   28]  of   the  salary   schedule  in                                                                    
     AS 39.27.011(a) for Juneau, Alaska."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
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          Delete "sec. 1"                                                                                                       
          Insert "sec. 2"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
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          Insert "secs. 3 and 4"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS objected for discussion purposes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG announced that he  brought forward the discussions                                                               
on this  matter.  He  related his understanding that  Amendment 1                                                               
was offered, in  concept, by former Governor Tony  Knowles at the                                                               
end   of  his   last  administration.     He   opined  that   the                                                               
commissioners in the state are underpaid.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:03:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE TIBBLES,  Deputy Commissioner,  Office of  the Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of  Administration,  explained  that  the  salary  of                                                               
commissioners are unique  in that they are tied to  a range and a                                                               
step in  statute.  The  aforementioned results in a  situation in                                                               
which  directors  and  deputy commissioners,  through  longevity,                                                               
receive  a higher  salary than  commissioners.   Furthermore,  in                                                               
reviewing   the  Council   of   State  Government's   information                                                               
regarding  Western  [states],  Alaska doesn't  offer  competitive                                                               
salaries.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:04:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked if Amendment  1 could result  in a                                                               
commissioner  starting  at a  lower  range,  and therefore  those                                                               
[commissioners] who  haven't already been in  state service could                                                               
receive  a  28A rather  than  a  28E.    She suggested  that  the                                                               
language should be "not less than step E Range 28".                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. TIBBLES  said he read  Amendment 1 to  allow the option  of a                                                               
the full  scale of Ranges  28-30 for the  commissioner, including                                                               
Range 28A.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   ROKEBERG  surmised   then   that   Amendment  1   creates                                                               
flexibility.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:06:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCGUIRE agreed that there  would be the desire for                                                               
more  discretion  on the  lower  end.   However,  she  questioned                                                               
whether on the upper end there  should be the sideboard of a step                                                               
E.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. TIBBLES  expressed concern with  placing a step with  a Range                                                               
30 because  it doesn't take  that long in  a Range 28  before one                                                               
equals a  Range 30A.   Therefore, as  one moves up,  he/she would                                                               
run  into  barriers,   even  at  a  different   step  because  an                                                               
equivalent can be calculated.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:07:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   COGHILL  said   that   due   to  the   four-year                                                               
gubernatorial   cycle,  commissioners   change  rather   rapidly.                                                               
Therefore, he said he didn't know whether it's a "big deal."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:07:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS  related  his  belief  that  the  governor                                                               
should  be the  highest  paid person  in  the state  bureaucracy,                                                               
higher than  the commissioners.   He inquired  as to  the highest                                                               
step in a Range 30.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. TIBBLES answered  that a Range 30M  is at the end  of the pay                                                               
schedule, which amounts to $117,000.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:08:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG referred  to a  handout in  the committee  packet                                                               
entitled "COMMISSIONERS",  which relates that under  CSHB 98(STA)                                                               
[Range  30M]  would  [increase]  to  $124,752  from  the  current                                                               
$117,000.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  said that he  would have a  difficult time                                                               
with "having anything more than  whatever step and Range 30 would                                                               
be  ... $115,000  or  less."   He  reiterated  that the  governor                                                               
should have a higher salary than commissioners.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG   pointed  out   that  several   specialties  and                                                               
practitioners make more than [$115,000].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  highlighted that most  often commissioners                                                               
are political  appointees, not specialists.   He  reiterated that                                                               
he  has  difficulty  with  commissioners  making  more  than  the                                                               
governor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  pointed out that Amendment  1 offers flexibility,                                                               
and  the commissioners  wouldn't necessarily  make more  than the                                                               
governor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:10:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TIBBLES  provided  the  following   scenario.    Within  the                                                               
executive branch a number of  directors have been in place longer                                                               
than  the commissioners.   These  directors have  expertise in  a                                                               
certain  area and  are  a good  applicant pool  to  move up  when                                                               
vacancies occur.  However, at  the Range 26 director level, first                                                               
year  in longevity  at seven  years, the  individual is  at Range                                                               
28E,  which is  the current  salary for  the commissioner.   Caps                                                               
result in  the same situation that  exists now in which  the caps                                                               
become  barriers  to  [promoting]  those  already  in  the  state                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:11:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  highlighted that people who  work with the                                                               
state  long  term  aren't  normally  subject  to  the  change  in                                                               
administrations, but  commissioners are.   Commissioners  have no                                                               
expected  longevity beyond  the  term of  the governor;  although                                                               
state employees expect longevity, if they do good job.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:12:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  asked  if  a   division  director  can  also  be                                                               
terminated during the change of an administration.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. TIBBLES noted that although  division directors are partially                                                               
exempt,  they  are frequently  [terminated]  with  the change  of                                                               
administrations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG referred to a  spreadsheet in the committee packet                                                               
[from CSG information]  regarding the 13 western states.   Of the                                                               
12 states,  excluding Alaska, listed, [the  salary for department                                                               
heads] in 10 of the states  is higher than the proposed salary of                                                               
$115,000 that's being proposed for  the governor.  Chair Rokeberg                                                               
said  that  he   is  in  support  of  Amendment   1  without  any                                                               
modifications.    He  indicated  the  need  to  have  competitive                                                               
salaries in order to recruit [qualified individuals].                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:14:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KERTTULA  maintained   her  concern   with  [the                                                               
possibility of Amendment 1 allowing  a commissioner] to receive a                                                               
lower step than E.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:14:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  commented   that  Representative  Harris                                                               
brings up a good point in  that commissioners are hired and fired                                                               
at will.   He opined that  the proposed range is  good.  However,                                                               
he  wasn't sure  about the  argument that  [the governor]  should                                                               
have a higher [range than  commissioners].  He indicated that the                                                               
governor  receives  a  "package"  beyond his  salary,  which  may                                                               
outweigh the actual dollar amount.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:15:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS withdrew his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being no further objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:16:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved that the committee adopt Amendment                                                                 
2, labeled 24-GH1099\G.3, Craver, 4/21/05, which read:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "compensation of":                                                                             
          Insert "the governor, the lieutenant governor,                                                                      
     and"                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 3:                                                                                                  
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
        "* Section 1.  AS 39.20.010(a) is amended to read:                                                                  
          Sec. 39.20.010.  Annual salary of governor.  (a)                                                                    
         The annual salary of the governor is $115,000                                                                      
     [$81,648].                                                                                                                 
        * Sec. 2.  AS 39.20.030(a) is amended to read:                                                                        
          Sec. 39.20.030.  Annual salary of lieutenant                                                                        
       governor.  (a) The annual salary of the lieutenant                                                                     
     governor is $100,000 [$76,188]."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 3"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 30:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
      "*   Sec.   6.      AS 39.20.010(b),   39.20.010(c),                                                                  
     39.20.030(b), and 39.20.030(c) are repealed."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
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          Delete "sec. 1"                                                                                                       
          Insert "sec. 3"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
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          Insert "secs. 4 and 5"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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          Delete "secs. 1 - 3"                                                                                                  
          Insert "secs. 3 - 5"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:16:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG explained  that  Amendment 2  would increase  the                                                               
annual salary of  the governor to $115,000 and  the annual salary                                                               
of the lieutenant governor to $100,000.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:16:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  referred to an  attachment to Amendment  2, which                                                               
specified  the  language  of  AS   39.20.010,  AS  39.20.020,  AS                                                               
39.20.030,  and  AS  39.20.040.   He  highlighted  the  following                                                               
statute:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec.  39.20.020.   Date  of  entitlement of  governor's                                                                    
     salary.                                                                                                                    
     The  governor   is  entitled  to  receive   the  salary                                                                    
     established for  the office effective from  the date on                                                                    
     which the oath of office is taken by the governor.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Sec.  39.20.040.   Date  of  entitlement of  lieutenant                                                                    
     governor's salary.                                                                                                         
     The  lieutenant governor  is  entitled  to receive  the                                                                    
     salary established  for the  office effective  from the                                                                    
     date  on which  the  oath  of office  is  taken by  the                                                                    
     lieutenant governor.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  specified that the current  statutes specify that                                                               
the enactment  of any  increase to  the governor's  or lieutenant                                                               
governor's salary wouldn't  be impacted until the  swearing in of                                                               
the next  governor in December  2006.  Chair  Rokeberg reiterated                                                               
that he brought this issue forward  on his own accord, not at the                                                               
request  of the  governor.   In fact,  the governor  has said  he                                                               
doesn't need a raise, but acknowledged  that it might be good for                                                               
the next occupant of the position.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:18:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS moved to adopt  Amendment 1 to Amendment 2,                                                               
which  would increase  the governor's  salary from  "$115,000" to                                                           
"$130,000"  [on line  8  of the  Amendment 2].    Amendment 1  to                                                               
Amendment 2  would allow the  governor to  be paid more  than the                                                               
highest Range for a commissioner.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  objected for discussion  purposes.   He explained                                                               
that  one  of the  initial  reasons  for selecting  the  $115,000                                                               
salary  for the  governor  was  that of  the  13 western  states,                                                               
excluding Alaska,  the average compensation  for the  governor is                                                               
approximately $113,000.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:20:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS compared  the salary  of the  President of                                                               
the University of Alaska to that  of the governor.  The salary of                                                               
the  President  of  the University  of  Alaska  is  approximately                                                               
$250,000 annually.   However, the governor of the  state has more                                                               
responsibility than  the President  of the University  of Alaska,                                                               
and  therefore $130,000  isn't out  of range  for the  governor's                                                               
responsibilities.     Representative   Harris  opined   that  the                                                               
governor's  salary has  been unfairly  held down  for years.   He                                                               
reiterated that  the governor  shouldn't be  paid lower  than the                                                               
people who work for him, save those in specialty  positions.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  pointed out  that if Amendment  1 to  Amendment 2                                                               
was adopted, the Alaska governor in  2006 would be fifth from the                                                               
top  in  terms of  compensation  -  equivalent  to Wyoming.    He                                                               
commented that Amendment 1 to Amendment 2 isn't out of line.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:22:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCGUIRE   opined  that  she  liked   raising  the                                                               
governor's salary  to $130,000 because  the differential  is more                                                               
in  keeping with  the position.     She indicated  agreement with                                                               
Representative Harris  in that this wouldn't  benefit the current                                                               
governor.    Furthermore,  it's  time  to  raise  the  governor's                                                               
salary, she  opined.  She also  opined that she didn't  think the                                                               
governor's salary would be raised again for a long time.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:23:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG asked what other  benefits accrue to the Office of                                                               
the Governor in terms of expenses, housing, et cetera.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. TIBBLES said  that he isn't able to speak  to that.  However,                                                               
he highlighted that the salary  provided in statute is considered                                                               
complete compensation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  asked  if  the  governor  receives  any  expense                                                               
accounts or housing allowances.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:24:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS  related that  in  doing  the budget,  the                                                               
governor has funds available just  as the legislature does to pay                                                               
for its  members' travel.   He assumed  that the  governor didn't                                                               
have to  pay rent  to live  in the  mansion and  has access  to a                                                               
state  vehicle.     Representative   Harris  then   informed  the                                                               
committee  that  the  President   of  the  University  of  Alaska                                                               
receives a free car, a free house, and an expense account.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:25:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG requested  this  information  be provided  before                                                               
this  legislation  goes to  the  House  floor.   He  related  his                                                               
understanding  that  the governor  is  required  to live  in  the                                                               
mansion and receives some allowances and does pay some salaries.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  maintained  his  objection  to  Amendment  1  to                                                               
Amendment 2.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:26:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Kerttula, Harris,                                                               
McGuire  voted   in  favor  of   Amendment  1  to   Amendment  2.                                                               
Representatives Coghill, Kohring, and  Rokeberg voted against it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 to Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 3-3.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 9:27 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:30:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS moved that  the committee adopt Amendment 2                                                               
to Amendment 2,  which would increase the  governor's salary from                                                               
"$115,000" to "$125,00" [on line 8 of Amendment 2].                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:30:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Kerttula, Harris,                                                               
McGuire, and Rokeberg voted in  favor of Amendment 2 to Amendment                                                               
2.    Representatives  Coghill  and  Kohring  voted  against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment  2 to Amendment 2  was adopted by a  vote of                                                               
4-2.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG announced that Amendment 2, as amended, is before                                                                
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 2, as amended, was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:32:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved to  report CSHB 98(STA), as amended,                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying  and  forthcoming  fiscal  notes.   There  being  no                                                               
objection,  CSHB  98(RLS)  was   reported  out  the  House  Rules                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

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