Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/07/1994 08:15 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36                                               
       Proposing amendments  to the Constitution of  the State                 
       of  Alaska requiring  that candidates for  governor and                 
       candidates for lieutenant governor receive more than 50                 
       percent of the  votes cast to  be elected and  changing                 
       the  term of office of the  governor and the lieutenant                 
  Co-chair  Pearce directed  that  SJR 36  be  brought on  for                 
  discussion.   JOSH FINK,  aide to Senator  Kelly came before                 
  committee.  He explained that SJR 36 proposes constitutional                 
  amendments that  would require  candidates for governor  and                 
  lieutenant governor to receive more than  40% of the vote at                 
  the general election.   If  no candidate  receives at  least                 
  40%,  the top  two  candidates would  compete  in a  run-off                 
  election four weeks later.  The winner of that race would be                 
  sworn in January  1, rather  then December 1,  as the  state                 
  constitution now requires.                                                   
  The resolution  initially required 50% of the  vote.  Senate                 
  State Affairs  amended the percentage to 40 to track run-off                 
  provisions   of  the  Municipality  of  Anchorage.    Senate                 
  Judiciary amended the length of time between the general and                 
  run-off election from 28 to 35 days.                                         
  Senator Kelly observed that the  accompanying fiscal note is                 
  misleading.  The $764.9 would be  required only if a run-off                 
  election were necessary.   The cost of the run-off  could be                 
  supplemented  in  the next  legislative  session.   The bill                 
  would not take effect until 1998.  Experience has shown that                 
  in  the  past  nine  gubernatorial  races,  two  would  have                 
  required run-offs.                                                           
  In response to a question from Senator Rieger, Senator Kelly                 
  advised that similar legislation was introduced in the prior                 
  legislature.  It  passed the  House but died  on the  Senate                 
  calendar awaiting floor action the final day.  Senator Kelly                 
  voiced his belief  that the two-party  system is dead.   The                 
  general election will  thus have numerous candidates  on the                 
  ballot.   The leader of  the state  must have  a mandate  to                 
  serve.    In  the last  election,  61%  of  the voters  were                 
  prepared to sign a recall petition because they did not vote                 
  for  the elected governor.  Senator Rieger concurred in need                 
  for the legislation.                                                         
  Co-chair Pearce called for additional testimony on the bill.                 
  Co-chair Frank suggested  that the  division of election  be                 
  asked to issue a new fiscal note demonstrating that the bill                 
  would not take effect until 1998.  Co-chair Pearce concurred                 
  and noted that  the amount for  FY 95  should show only  the                 
  $2.2 cost of  placing the question  on the ballot.   Senator                 
  Kelly also advised that future costs  shown for FY 99 should                 
  also indicate a one in four chance that the funding would be                 
  needed.   Co-chair Pearce suggested  that the bill  be moved                 
  from  committee  but  not  transmitted  to Rules  until  the                 
  division of elections furnishes a new fiscal note.                           
  Senator Kelly MOVED that CSSJR  36 (Jud) pass from committee                 
  with individual recommendations.   No objection having  been                 
  raised, CSSJR 36 (Jud) was REPORTED  OUT of committee with a                 
  $2.2 fiscal note  from the division of elections,  Office of                 
  the  Governor.   All  members  present signed  the committee                 
  report with a  "do pass" recommendation.   (Senator Kerttula                 
  was absent from the meeting and did not sign the report.)                    

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