Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

01/23/2020 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 187 RESTRICT OUT-OF-STATE CORRECTIONAL FACIL. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
<Pending Introduction & Referral>
*+ HJR 15 CONST. AM: VOTES NEEDED FOR VETO OVERRIDE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
        HJR 15-CONST. AM: VOTES NEEDED FOR VETO OVERRIDE                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
3:51:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO. 15, Proposing an  amendment to the                                                               
Constitution  of the  State of  Alaska relating  to actions  upon                                                               
veto.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:51:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN MCGOWAN, Staff,  Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, on                                                               
behalf  of Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins, prime  sponsor of  HJR
15,  relayed that  the  proposed  constitutional amendment  would                                                               
lower the  veto override threshold  for appropriation  bills from                                                               
three-fourths  of  legislators -  45  votes  - to  two-thirds  of                                                               
legislators, or 40 votes.   He said that currently veto overrides                                                               
of  non-appropriation  bills  in  Alaska  require  two-thirds  of                                                               
legislators.  He  stated that HJR 15 would create  a uniform veto                                                               
override vote  threshold for appropriation  and non-appropriation                                                               
bills.       He   maintained    that   Alaska's    threshold   is                                                               
disproportionate to every  other U.S. state and  territory; it is                                                               
the highest threshold.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:52:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSIAH NASH,  Intern, Representative Jonathan  Kreiss-Tomkins, on                                                               
behalf  of Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins, prime  sponsor of  HJR
15, relayed  that Alaska is  the only state  in the union  with a                                                               
three-fourths  veto  override  vote threshold  for  appropriation                                                               
bills.   Every  other state  has a  two-thirds, three-fifths,  or                                                               
simple  majority  vote  threshold.   He  referred  to  a  graphic                                                               
summary   [not  included   in  the   committee  packet]   of  the                                                               
information  provided  to the  committee  on  veto override  vote                                                               
thresholds by  state [Table 98-6.22  Vote Required to  Override a                                                               
Veto of  Selected Types  of Bills,  National Conference  of State                                                               
Legislatures].    He  said  that  38  states  have  a  two-thirds                                                               
threshold, 6 have  a three-fifths threshold, and 5  have a simple                                                               
majority threshold; that  leaves Alaska as the only  state with a                                                               
high three-fourths vote threshold.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:53:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  stated that  he introduced  the proposed                                                               
resolution before  there had been  any vetoes in the  last budget                                                               
cycle  [fiscal year  2020 (FY  20)].   He offered  that the  veto                                                               
override vote  threshold in the  Alaska State Constitution  is an                                                               
anomaly, and  through the proposed  resolution, he is  seeking to                                                               
avoid the "train wreck coming down  the tracks."  He relayed that                                                               
despite varying  points of  view on the  budget last  year [2019]                                                               
and on whether the vetoes  should have been overridden, Alaska is                                                               
"way out  of line" from  the rest of the  country.  He  said that                                                               
the  Alaska   Territorial  Legislature  had  a   two-thirds  veto                                                               
override  vote threshold  for all  measures -  appropriations and                                                               
non-appropriations.    He offered  that  in  the minutes  of  the                                                               
Alaska  Constitutional  Convention, there  was  a  great deal  of                                                               
discussion on this issue and two  camps of thinking.  The "three-                                                               
fourths  camp"  won  by  a  vote  in  the  Alaska  Constitutional                                                               
Convention;  however,  the  very  concerns  put  forth  by  those                                                               
advocating for a two-thirds vote  have existed throughout history                                                               
in  Alaska  whenever the  legislative  branch  of government  has                                                               
sought to put a check on  the executive branch of government.  He                                                               
offered that  having a three-fourths threshold  essentially gives                                                               
the  executive branch  and its  administration a  blank check  to                                                               
execute  its  agenda and  vision  through  the  "veto pen."    He                                                               
suggested that  if an environmental  governor two terms  from now                                                               
wanted to  end the mining  industry in Alaska and  line-item veto                                                               
the  Division of  Mining, Land,  and Water  in the  Department of                                                               
Natural  Resources (DNR)  budget, that  governor would  likely be                                                               
able  to  do that  because  the  override  veto threshold  is  so                                                               
incredibly high.   Regardless of the  person [at the top  of] the                                                               
executive  branch  and  the  administration,  there  is  a  clear                                                               
imbalance  in the  separation of  powers  in Alaska,  and HJR  15                                                               
seeks to re-balance the separation of powers.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:56:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  expressed her  belief that it  is important                                                               
to have public input on the proposed resolution.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS relayed  that whenever  a constitutional                                                               
framework  has  two  different  override  thresholds  -  one  for                                                               
appropriation measures  and one for non-appropriation  measures -                                                               
it  inherently   creates  constitutional  ambiguity   about  what                                                               
constitutes an appropriation  and what does not.   A uniform flat                                                               
override threshold avoids  that ambiguity.  He  mentioned that in                                                               
the  '90s, then  Governor Tony  Knowles  vetoed a  bill from  the                                                               
legislature  that gave  the  University of  Alaska  a large  land                                                               
grant.   The legislature mustered  a two-thirds vote  to override                                                               
the  veto,  but  not  a three-fourths  vote.    Governor  Knowles                                                               
rejected the  override calling  the legislation  an appropriation                                                               
bill.     The   legislature  contended   that  it   was  not   an                                                               
appropriation bill  and sued  the governor.   The  Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court found in  favor of the legislature.  He  concluded that not                                                               
having a  flat uniform  threshold, but  having two  categories of                                                               
override thresholds, creates ambiguity,  and it's the lawyers who                                                               
profit.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked  for confirmation  that at  the Alaska                                                               
Constitutional  Convention,  the  threshold was  originally  two-                                                               
thirds vote for all measures.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS responded  that  the Alaska  Territorial                                                               
Legislature  -   before  statehood   -  had  a   flat  two-thirds                                                               
threshold.   At  the Alaska  Constitutional Convention  there was                                                               
debate  on the  topic; some  delegates advocated  for two-thirds,                                                               
some for three-fourths.  The three-fourths camp won the debate.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW mentioned  that Article  II, Section  16, of                                                               
the constitution was amended in  1976 and asked for the specifics                                                               
of that amendment.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS answered  that he did not  know but would                                                               
have that information at the next hearing.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS indicated HJR 15 would be held over.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 15 v. M 1.21.2020.PDF HJUD 2/5/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/7/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/10/2020 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HJR 15
HJR 15 Sponsor Statement 1.21.2020.pdf HJUD 2/5/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/7/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/10/2020 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HJR 15
HJR 15 Sectional Analysis v. M 1.21.2020.pdf HJUD 2/5/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/7/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/10/2020 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HJR 15
HJR 15 Supporting Document - NCSL Table 1.21.2020.pdf HJUD 2/5/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/7/2020 1:45:00 PM
HJUD 2/10/2020 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HJR 15
HB 187 Ver E 1.22.2020.PDF HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 Sponsor Statement ver E 1.22.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 Sectional Analysis 1.21.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 Supporting Document ACOA 10.17.19 Letter to Governor Dunleavy 1.21.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 Supporting Documents 2016 US DOJ Memo Ending Private Prisons 1.22.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 Supporting Document-ACOA Private Prisons Book 1.22.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 Supporting Document-News Clip-California bans private prisons 1.22.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 Supporting Document-ADN News Clip 1.22.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HJR 15 Presentation 1.21.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HJR 15
HB 187 Supporting Document Anchorage Resolution 1.23.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187
HB 187 PPT 1.22.2020.pdf HSTA 1/23/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 187