Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

04/28/2005 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 22(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 161(STA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 283-AK HOUSING FINANCE CORP BOARD COMP.                                                                                    
10:01:31 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  last order of business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO. 283,  "An Act  relating to  the compensation  for board                                                               
members of the Alaska Housing  Finance Corporation; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
10:01:45 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE  O'HARE, Staff  to Representative  Pete  Kott, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of  Representative Kott,  sponsor, stated                                                               
that HB  283 would increase the  per diem levels of  public board                                                               
members from  $100 to $400.   The current level of  $100 has been                                                               
in  place  since the  inception  of  the Alaska  Housing  Finance                                                               
Corporation  (AHFC)  in 1971.    Mr.  O'Hare paraphrased  from  a                                                               
portion  of   the  sponsor  statement,  which   read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     The Board  of Directors of  AHFC is required  to review                                                                    
     and  consider topics  having to  do  with bonding,  the                                                                    
     mortgage  industry,  public  housing,  and  many  other                                                                    
     technical  issues.   In any  given year,  the Board  is                                                                    
     asked  to  consider  and approve  $600  million  to  $1                                                                    
     billion  in bond  programs and  millions of  dollars in                                                                    
     tax credit and  other federal grants.   The workload is                                                                    
     such  that board  members must  spend a  great deal  of                                                                    
     their personal  time studying and  educating themselves                                                                    
     about  corporate activities.   These  are just  some of                                                                    
     the  reasons  why  it  is   important  to  do  what  is                                                                    
     necessary to help keep as capable a board as possible.                                                                     
     The compensation is only applicable  to the four public                                                                    
     members  of the  Corporation's  seven  member Board  of                                                                    
     Directors.   It is estimated  that the increase  in per                                                                    
     diem would  cost the Corporation  approximately $15,000                                                                    
     in corporate receipts per fiscal year.                                                                                     
10:03:29 AM                                                                                                                   
BRIAN   BUTCHER,  Director,   Government  Relations   and  Public                                                               
Affairs, Alaska  Housing Finance  Corporation (AHFC),  noted that                                                               
AHFC is  a totally self-supporting  corporation that  receives no                                                               
state general  funds and pays a  dividend of $103 million  to the                                                               
state.   He  said,  "The  small increase  would  be in  corporate                                                               
10:04:11 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BUTCHER, in response to  a question from Representative Lynn,                                                               
said there are  an estimated 12 board meetings a  year for only 4                                                               
board  members.   At a  $300-per-member increase,  the additional                                                               
cost would be $15,000.                                                                                                          
10:04:32 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON  asked what other  per diem rates are,  for example,                                                               
for the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game.                                                                               
10:04:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BUTCHER responded that he does  not know.  He said, "This was                                                               
the same  amount that the  Permanent Fund Board receives,  and we                                                               
felt  that -  seeing  as  our board  has  oversight  over [a]  $5                                                               
billion   corporation,    there   were    many   of    the   same                                                               
responsibilities."   In  response to  a  follow-up question  from                                                               
Chair  Seaton,  he  confirmed  that   the  Permanent  Fund  Board                                                               
currently pays a $400 per diem to its members.                                                                                  
10:05:17 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  BUTCHER,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Elkins, said  hotel costs are  not included in  the compensation.                                                               
In response  to a question  from Chair Seaton, he  explained that                                                               
the hotel  costs depend on the  number of board members  from out                                                               
of  town  that  attend  the  meeting in  person  rather  than  by                                                               
teleconference.   If  a  member  were to  attend  the meeting  in                                                               
person, there  would be  airfare and  one night  at an  hotel, if                                                               
10:05:25 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEATON said,  "So, those  are actual  expenses, not  a per                                                               
diem expenditure?"                                                                                                              
10:05:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BUTCHER answered that's correct.                                                                                            
10:06:31 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS  said he would  like to offer  an amendment                                                               
so that the level  of the per diem be fixed  to the federal rate,                                                               
like the legislature's  is.  He said he doesn't  see much need to                                                               
pay  any board  member more  per diem  than the  legislature pays                                                               
10:07:08 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON  asked Representative Elkins to  hold the amendment,                                                               
because the committee does not have  a quorum.  He noted that the                                                               
per  diem given  to legislators  pays for  expenses incurred  for                                                               
having a  second residence  in the  capital and  living expenses.                                                               
The per  diem for the AHFC  Board members would be  for pay only,                                                               
with expenses being a separate issue.                                                                                           
10:07:46 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS  stated that  when he travels  to Anchorage                                                               
on legislative business,  he is paid at a federal  rate "for that                                                               
travel up  there."  He  indicated that  included in the  per diem                                                               
is:  hotel, plane fare, and tax.                                                                                                
10:08:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON asked Mr. O'Hare to  supply a fact sheet listing the                                                               
compensation rate of other boards.                                                                                              
[HB 283 was heard and held.]                                                                                                    

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