Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/23/1993 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HJR 8:  USE OF INITIATIVE TO AMEND CONSTITUTION                              
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of HJR 1, and opened                           
  discussion on HJR 1 and HJR 8.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 040                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG, CO-SPONSOR OF HJR 8, stated he                 
  was a fan of the initiative process and that he did not fear                 
  the people.  Alaska was unique because of the Permanent                      
  Fund, he said, and until the question regarding the                          
  Permanent Fund Dividend was answered he could not support                    
  either HJR 1 or HJR 8.                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 057                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY referred to the National Conference of State                  
  Legislators' (NCSL) summary of nineteen states which have                    
  provisions in their Constitution to amend by the initiative                  
  process.  He said that all nineteen states had a simple                      
  majority with restrictions on subjects that could be brought                 
  by initiative.  He defined the differences with simple or                    
  super majority.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 137                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS stated that the preparation of the                 
  wording on the ballot should be addressed.  He was also                      
  concerned that the wording be simple and not misleading.                     
                                                                               
  Number 157                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE TERRY MARTIN stated that the public needed to                 
  know what they were voting on.  The Department of Law would                  
  help with the wording.  Advice would be given regarding the                  
  constitutionality of what was stated.  The Judiciary                         
  Committee and the Division of Elections would review and                     
  help prepare the sample ballot, he added.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 200                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY summarized Representative Martin's testimony                  
  and clarified that the Department of Law was the Attorney                    
  General's Office.                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 220                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN stated there were checks and balances                  
  to the wording, and that the legislature would review the                    
  ballot wording.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 240                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT shared concerns regarding the                       
  Permanent Fund Dividend and other funds.  He asked if there                  
  could be an amendment to allow voters to amend the                           
  Constitution with the exception of various funds.                            
                                                                               
  Number 254                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY made reference to the NCSL report of states                   
  that restricted specific subjects.                                           
                                                                               
  Number 270                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN stated that the NCSL inspired him.  He                 
  referenced the support by the American Bar Association.  A                   
  limit or restrictions from opening appropriations to the                     
  public could be done within the Constitution's framework, he                 
  said.  He reminded the committee that the Constitution was                   
  the voice of the people.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 341                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY made reference to statutes directing                          
  appropriations.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 357                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said the public should have the right                  
  to use the initiative process yet with restrictions of                       
  criteria that could be changed.                                              
                                                                               
  Number 365                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG shared concern that the public could                   
  use the initiative process to get a $25,000 check for each                   
  person and dissolve the Permanent Fund.  With that much                      
  money on the plate they would find a way, he said                            
                                                                               
  Number 370                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY reviewed the process to initiate a                            
  referendum.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 394                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN also reviewed the initiative process                   
  and the difficulty to follow through before it was placed on                 
  the ballot.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 432                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS discussed that regulations were                      
  written from bills that the public had to comply with.                       

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