Legislature(2001 - 2002)

06/26/2002 09:24 AM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CHAIRMAN  ROBIN  TAYLOR  called  the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee                                                            
meeting to order at 9:24 a.m.                                                                                                   
        SB 3001-REGULATORY COM. OF ALASKA: SUNSET & MISC                                                                    
        HB 3001-REGULATORY COM. OF ALASKA: SUNSET & MISC                                                                    
[THE FOLLOWING IS A VERBATUM TRANSCRIPT]                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  ...Donley and Chair  Taylor.  And  the secretary                                                              
has copies  of the bill back  there for distribution.   The matter                                                              
before  us is  House  Bill  number 3001  Judiciary.    There is  a                                                              
committee substitute.   Chair to  entertain a motion to  adopt the                                                              
committee  substitute   for  purposes  of  discussion.     Senator                                                              
SENATOR JOHN COWDERY: I make a motion  that we adopt the committee                                                              
substitute,  Committee Substitute  for House  Bill 3001  Judiciary                                                              
for discussion purposes.                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Is there objection?   There being  no objection,                                                              
it is so adopted.   Let me walk you through  first the provisions.                                                              
First  off,  we  have a,  we  have  created  a  Telecommunications                                                              
Commission  of  Alaska, that's  a  three-member  panel that  will,                                                              
effective    January   1     take   over    the   regulation    of                                                              
telecommunications  in Alaska.    That will  leave the  Regulatory                                                              
Commission,  as they  have  been facing  a  20 percent/80  percent                                                              
balance on  telecommunications work  versus electrical  work, this                                                              
will leave them  with the remainder of the 20  percent, which will                                                              
be all of water and sewer, refuse  to the extent they regulate it,                                                              
and the electrical matters, most  of which have been some of their                                                              
biggest cases  and some  of the cases  that have been  languishing                                                              
for the longest period of time.                                                                                                 
SENATOR DAVE DONLEY: Mr. Chairman?                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes?                                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: Would the, where would cable television fall?                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Unfortunately, we have not yet  drafted anything                                                              
on cable television.                                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: But...                                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: We  didn't have  time last  night.   We can,  if                                                              
anyone is interested, have an amendment  prepared for that effect.                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY: Well,  if  the committee's  going  to propose  to                                                              
create a separate  thing, it needs to be one or the  other.  And I                                                              
would suggest that it's closer to  telecommunications than garbage                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Oh, no, tele...                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: Sewer and water.                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Cable would be included within.                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: The telecommunications...                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: The Telecommunications Commission.                                                                             
SENATOR DONLEY: Okay, good.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  But we haven't  prepared any specific  amendment                                                              
changing in any way the cable television industry.                                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY:  No, I'm  just wondering  who has jurisdiction  on                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Is that correct, Barbara?                                                                                      
MS. BARBARA  CRAVER:  I think so.   I  mean telecommunications  is                                                              
pretty broadly defined [indisc.] I think it involves cable.                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Okay.    I'd just  note  for  the record  that's                                                              
Barbara Craver, who's with, who's a drafter.                                                                                    
SENATOR COWDERY: And the date of the...                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: The transition would  occur January 1, 2003.  The                                                              
next  major provision  you come  to is  the Regulatory  Commission                                                              
itself and  that it shall annually,  that's on Section 8,  page 3,                                                              
it shall  annually elect for the  following fiscal year,  and that                                                              
election shall occur  within the membership, raising  one of their                                                              
members to  the title of  chair.  The  chair would  serve one-year                                                              
terms  and could  serve up  to three  successive terms.   After  a                                                              
year, then  they would  have to step  down as  chair, and  after a                                                              
year  of not  serving  as the  chair,  the commissioner  would  be                                                              
eligible  for election as  chair again.   This  was to provide  an                                                              
alternative for  the question of,  'should the chair  be rotated?'                                                              
as three  of the Commissioners  have suggested  just prior  to our                                                              
hearings.   The next provision  goes into extensive  discussion of                                                              
ex  parte communication,  impartial  decision making.   These  are                                                              
standards  that are  applicable in  other sections  of the  law to                                                              
hearing officers and judges in Alaska.   And that's basically what                                                              
these people  are when  they sit in  the quasi-judicial  aspect of                                                              
their jobs.                                                                                                                     
SENATOR JOHNNY ELLIS: Mr. Chairman, that's section 9 through...                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: 11.   I  think that's  right, John,  I may  have                                                              
spoken too quickly.  Yes.                                                                                                       
SENATOR ELLIS: Could you just cite  the sections as you go through                                                              
the issues?                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Yeah,  I'm  sorry,  I should  have.   That  next                                                              
section   12    basically   defines    who   has   control    over                                                              
telecommunications  and  who has  control  over  the other  public                                                              
utilities.   Section 13, timelines  for issuance of  final orders,                                                              
is basically the same provision as  was provided for in the House.                                                              
There is one difference and that  is the provision providing for a                                                              
good cause  delay has  been eliminated.   So,  in essence,  unless                                                              
the, let me  see if I can  find it, unless the  parties themselves                                                              
have consented,  both parties, I'm  assuming only two,  but unless                                                              
all  parties have  consented to  the extension,  the extension  is                                                              
granted  as  of  that  date.   This  puts  some  teeth  into  that                                                              
provision.   And actually with  the division of  work contemplated                                                              
by   creating    the    new   commission    to   take   care    of                                                              
telecommunications, there  is, there should be more  than adequate                                                              
both staffing  and time  because  they would then  be handling  20                                                              
percent of the workload.  80 percent,  according to the testimony,                                                              
would move off to  the new commissioners as of the 1   of January.                                                              
This next  provision was,  I believe, part  of the House  bill and                                                              
I'm not certain  what it actually does, but it's  the contents and                                                              
service  of orders.   It  talks about  every formal  order of  the                                                              
commission  should be  based on  facts  of record,  then it  says,                                                              
however, the commission may issue  orders approving any settlement                                                              
supported by all the parties of record  in a proceeding, including                                                              
a compromise.   I'm  assuming that's some  clean up language  that                                                              
was needed within  the House Bill by the Commission  for the types                                                              
of orders they  found themselves necessary to issue.   Do you have                                                              
further comment on that, Barbara?                                                                                               
MS. CRAVER:  That's section  14.  That's  been in there  since the                                                              
second session...                                                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: You need to come  over and sit down there.  Yeah.                                                              
MS. CRAVER:  This is Barbara  Craver, I'm  with Leg Legal.   Let's                                                              
see,  Section 14  of version  L has  been  with the  bill, it  was                                                              
requested I think during the second  session and maybe even during                                                              
the  original  session because  there  was  no authority  for  the                                                              
Commission to approve settlement,  settlements between the parties                                                              
as an order.                                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: And that was in the House Bill?                                                                                
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  The next  one, section 15  is again, 15,  16, 17                                                              
and 18, let's see...                                                                                                            
SENATOR GENE THERRIAULT: They all just conform.                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Those are just  conforming and putting  the word                                                              
'telecommunication'  in  there, creating  the  new commission  for                                                              
that  purpose.    And  so is  19  also.    The  Telecommunications                                                              
Commission is created in Section  20, the definition of the duties                                                              
of the three  commissioners.  And,  by the way, the  standards for                                                              
qualification  are the  same as the  standards for  qualifications                                                              
for  APUC, excuse  me,  RCA  right now.    And the  standards  for                                                              
removal by  cause, which  is the Governor  that only can  do that,                                                              
for cause.  They're confirmed by  the Legislature.  They serve for                                                              
five-year terms.   They  are a range  26 up to  a range,  with the                                                              
chair at a range 27.  All this is same as the RCA is right now.                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT: So that's identical, you've just...                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yeah.                                                                                                          
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: Sort  of pulled those  sections of  statutes,                                                              
changed the...                                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Changed  the name, that's all, Gene,  yeah.  They                                                              
have  an office,  a seal,  a legal  counsel.   They're allowed  to                                                              
employ, of  course, personnel  to assist them.   And  then there's                                                              
the restriction  on the members that  they cannot hold stock  in a                                                              
utility  that they  would regulate  and other  qualifications.   I                                                              
thought that one had a section number, but I guess it doesn't.                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: It's...                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Section  42 includes  both  the restrictions  on                                                              
members and  the powers and duties  of the commission chair.   And                                                              
those are also the same, aren't they Barbara?                                                                                   
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: As what the RCA is today?  Okay.                                                                               
MS. CRAVER: This is identical to the Regulatory Commission.                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:   And  these  decision  making   procedures  and                                                              
impartial decision-making, is that the same, too?                                                                               
MS. CRAVER: Oh, no, that's a new section.                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: That's what I thought.                                                                                         
MS. CRAVER: 42.08.090, which is on  page 13, is a new section that                                                              
also  appears  in,  appears  as an  amendment  to  the  Regulatory                                                              
Commission in the first part of this bill.  Yes.                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: And that provides  for the higher standard of, we                                                              
were talking about only commissioners, too.                                                                                     
MS. CRAVER:  This is an ex parte,  ex parte model that's  based on                                                              
the judicial model.                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: When...                                                                                                        
MS. CRAVER: To prohibit ex parte communications.                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  When the members, refreshing  your recollection,                                                              
you  actually  prepared a  memorandum  to  the Committee  on  that                                                              
MS. CRAVER: Uh-hmm.                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Before we even  started with these  hearings and                                                              
you provided  three different  options and this  is the  higher of                                                              
the three options.  Is that right?                                                                                              
MS.  CRAVER: I  think  the judicial  standard  is  taken from  the                                                              
canons and it's the most elaborate  as to what an ex parte contact                                                              
is and in  what situations an  ex parte contact might  be allowed,                                                              
mostly for procedural matters and communications with staff.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  And we  also  have  a public  advocacy  section                                                              
within this  Commission, just as we  do within the RCA.   And then                                                              
when you get  to, Section 21 is  probably, though it's  one of the                                                              
smallest, it's  probably one of  the meatiest around  here because                                                              
what it  does, it provides  for the  extension of this  Commission                                                              
for one full  year plus it's wind-down year, which  actually gives                                                              
it a  two-year extension.   22 is just  a nominal change  again to                                                              
include,  yes, go  ahead Senator  Cowdery, the  Telecommunications                                                              
SENATOR COWDERY: I  don't know if we've got it in  here, but there                                                              
was some question on the word 'wind-down,'  I mean, in the, what's                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Terminate?                                                                                                     
SENATOR COWDERY: Termination, is that...                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: I haven't  attempted to  take that  definitional                                                              
thing on.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR COWDERY: Because  you know that gives  some confusion when                                                              
it says that it's terminated but then it gives a one year.                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: We  actually  had a  section  drawn up,  Senator                                                              
Cowdery.   In fact we've  got a  couple of different  alternatives                                                              
there.  I chose to go with the simpler  one because it's basically                                                              
what the House did.  And if these  other provisions are adopted, I                                                              
certainly feel  that we can extend  and move on from here.   We're                                                              
going to have a panel that's coming up here too towards the end.                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY: Okay.                                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  But I didn't  get into that definitional  stuff,                                                              
although  I  do have  a  section  drawn  up  if the  Committee  is                                                              
interested that  would provide for  definition of  what activities                                                              
take place within a sunset year so  that there's no question about                                                              
worrying  about  interpreting  an attorney  general's  opinion  or                                                              
having  someone just  speculate what  they might  or might  not be                                                              
able to do.  It would specifically tell them.                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY:  I agree with Senator  Cowdery.  I think  the word                                                              
'terminate' as it appears now is  really misleading.  I don't even                                                              
think it's good English.  I mean,  'terminate' means the end.  And                                                              
that's not what happens.                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Right.                                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY: I think...                                                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT: But when you  mean to shut something down, you                                                              
terminate it  and it goes into its  wind-down year.  Now  it might                                                              
not fit  perfectly with  this function because  we have to  have a                                                              
regulatory commission of some kind.                                                                                             
SENATOR DONLEY: Right.                                                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  You have to have that oversight.   But if the                                                              
language applies  to other sections  of the statute, which  at any                                                              
time  the Legislature  could  say, 'You're  not  needed any  more,                                                              
we're going  to give,  you're therefore  terminated, wrap  up your                                                              
business.'  I mean, it does fit. So...                                                                                          
SENATOR COWDERY: Well...                                                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY: I...                                                                                                            
SENATOR COWDERY:  Well, it seems to  me, you know, having  been in                                                              
the  business  world, when  I  terminated  an employee,  that  was                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Didn't have a wind-down year?                                                                                  
SENATOR COWDERY:  No, I paid them  until the end of the  week, and                                                              
that was it,  you know, or the  job was completed or  whatever, it                                                              
was  terminated.   And  I think  there's confusion.    I think  we                                                              
should clarify that.                                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: I just  wanted to  highlight for  you as  I went                                                              
through it  quickly the sections  and this is the  section, number                                                              
22, excuse me, number  21, where we would probably  want to put in                                                              
that definition  if we  wished to  make that definitional  change.                                                              
And I, as I said, I do have a paragraph  already drafted that Barb                                                              
has available  that talks  about what  happens during a  wind-down                                                              
year.   I  didn't  try to  take  on the  issue  of  what the  word                                                              
'terminate' meant  or whether or not  it should remain there.   We                                                              
removed it  in the paragraph and  just said you would have  a full                                                              
year of authority and be authorized to continue to work.  But...                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY:  I think it's a  pretty simple matter.   If people                                                              
are concerned that  it may be appropriate in other  areas, which I                                                              
don't, I'm leaning  towards thinking it's not  in anywhere because                                                              
it's  just not,  when you  terminate something,  it's supposed  to                                                              
end.  But  to do a 'notwithstanding'  provision for at  least this                                                              
type  of regulatory  function,  which  seems  to be  an  essential                                                              
function,  we could,  you know,  have a  special terminology  that                                                              
applies when  it's the  RCA or whatever  commission is  regulating                                                              
these  functions and  then deal  with  the broad  picture in  some                                                              
other piece of legislation.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Okay, I  just wanted  you to  note that  so that                                                              
when we go back  through it and we want, anybody  has an amendment                                                              
prepared, submit one  even procedural, or I mean  even conceptual.                                                              
That's why Barbara's  here to assist us.  Section  23, again, just                                                              
changes the  title from  'Regulatory' to 'Telecommunications.'  So                                                              
does  section 24,  25, 26,  27.   Section  28 brings  in a  little                                                              
different  concept,  but it's  a  concept  that  I think  is  very                                                              
germane to  this subject and needs  to be addressed.   In essence,                                                              
that's Senate Bill 280 that failed  passage in the regular session                                                              
and it  does provide  much needed  assistance  to water and  sewer                                                              
projects through grants.   And, by the way, we do  need to have an                                                              
amendment on  section 28 because  the word 'company'  was inserted                                                              
and we need  to have the words  'public utility' put in  the place                                                              
of 'company' each place that it appears  within section 28 and 29.                                                              
SENTOR THERRIAULT: I've got a couple of questions.                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes.                                                                                                           
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Barbara, when, I'm sure this has  been a long                                                              
process.   When were  you instructed to  include this  language in                                                              
the bill?  Yesterday or the day before?                                                                                         
MS. CRAVER: The 29.                                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: When did you  start drafting this section into                                                              
the bill?                                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I  think I gave her instructions  Mr. Therriault,                                                              
Senator Therriault,  yesterday on everything at  about, what time,                                                              
Barb, 9:00 in the morning?                                                                                                      
MS. CRAVER: Yeah.                                                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: 9:30, something like that.                                                                                     
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: We  had a lengthy  discussion yesterday,  Mr.                                                              
Chairman, about the contents of the  bill.  Since this was my bill                                                              
during  the  session,  why  didn't  you  tell  me  that  you  were                                                              
incorporating it in the bill?                                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I  wanted to add that and some  other, because at                                                              
one point  the Committee had  actually discussed  deregulating all                                                              
water and sewer utilities.  And,  in fact, first draft last night,                                                              
Barbara had  worked a  long time  trying to figure  out how  to do                                                              
that.  And when  we came back with that at about  3:00 a.m. or so,                                                              
we also had this within it because  as we were going to deregulate                                                              
I  wanted to  make certain  that  those provisions  that had  been                                                              
lost,  because I  had supported  you  also on  that concept,  were                                                              
still  available  for those  communities.    And that's  the  main                                                              
reason  I did it.   We  actually had  about seven  or eight  other                                                              
alternatives too that  I haven't gone through because  I just kind                                                              
of  decided  they're  too  complex   and  there  really  wasn't  a                                                              
consensus within the committee.                                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Well I guess the dereg...                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I didn't mean to offend you in the process.                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT:   More  complete  deregulation,   too,  is  a                                                              
substantive matter and...                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: That's why I didn't do it.                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  That never came up in  conversation yesterday                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  No, but that had  come up.  Senator  Cowdery had                                                              
raised it.   It had  been raised by  a couple of  different people                                                              
testifying.   So I wanted to  have as many alternatives  available                                                              
as we could.  And basically those  things have been drafted.  It's                                                              
just I thought it was too big a bite  to be taking and expect this                                                              
committee to  deregulate all water and  sewer in the state.   Your                                                              
auditors had  suggested to us that  we make a policy call  on that                                                              
one  way or  the other  and that's  why  I felt  it was  certainly                                                              
germane and  something we should take  up.  But I did  not include                                                              
it in this  draft.  It is available  if you want to  take that up.                                                              
Another issue that was raised was  the deregulation of cooperative                                                              
electric  associations.   And Chugach had  specifically asked  for                                                              
that  so I had  provisions  drafted for  that also.   Part of  the                                                              
complexity there  was that  many witnesses had  stated that  if in                                                              
fact something like that were contemplated,  that we really needed                                                              
to  maintain  a   level  of  regulation  on   Chugach's  wholesale                                                              
transactions  with other  utilities but  that maybe maintaining  a                                                              
strict regulatory  approach over a cooperative really  didn't have                                                              
much, much impact.   So we also drafted a provision  on that.  But                                                              
since I didn't feel we had a great  deal of consensus yet on that,                                                              
that wasn't an issue  that I was going to, going to  push.  We did                                                              
have it drafted,  though, last night, and I'm  prepared to provide                                                              
the Committee  with that work and  move forward with it  if people                                                              
want.  As I  said, I tried to take every option  that was provided                                                              
in testimony  and consolidate it and  then put it into  some form.                                                              
And then I  tried as best I  could to come up with  something that                                                              
would work.   The last  section, let  me, first on  that repealer,                                                              
can you explain that one Barb?                                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  Because there  was,  it's  a little  glitch  in                                                              
MS.  CRAVER:  Well,  42.04.100  created  a  telecommunications  or                                                              
communication carriers  section within the Regulatory  Commission.                                                              
And since that seems to be very applicable  to telecommunications,                                                              
we've taken it  out of 04 and put  it into 08.  So  now that exact                                                              
same  section about  communication  carriers section  is found  in                                                              
45.08 under the auspices of the Telecommunications Commission.                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Could you go over that again?                                                                               
MS. CRAVER: Yes, okay.  Okay, 42.04.100.                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Which we would repeal.                                                                                         
MS. CRAVER: You  can see what it looks like, let's  see, if we can                                                              
find where it  got, got moved to.   Let's see.  If  you'll look on                                                              
page  14, on  line  10, we  have communications  carrier  section.                                                              
This had  formerly been  42.04.100, because this  was part  of the                                                              
Regulatory Commission's, under their  jurisdiction.  So since it's                                                              
a communication carrier system that  will 'administer policies and                                                              
programs  with  respect  to the  regulation  of  rates,  services,                                                              
accounting,  and  facilities  of  communications  common  carriers                                                              
within  the state involving  the  use of wire,  cable, radio,  and                                                              
space satellites,'  it seemed more  appropriate to put  this under                                                              
the telecommunications section and  just take it completely out of                                                              
the Regulatory  Commission.   So 42.04.100  is being repealed  and                                                              
it's  actually been  just moved  and renamed,  renumbered and  put                                                              
under the Telecommunications Commission in 42.08.100.                                                                           
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: The next  section, number  31, provides  exactly                                                              
the  same  language  that  the  House   had  in  their  timelines.                                                              
Remember we,  we, I can't remember  for sure, I think it  was Eric                                                              
Yould  yesterday was  telling us  that it  wasn't everything  that                                                              
they wanted.   They  wanted some  tighter definitions  on the  400                                                              
cases that are somewhat stale.  And  I believe he suggested he had                                                              
some language  but didn't provide  it to the Committee  yesterday.                                                              
In the first draft,  I had left out that second  sentence where it                                                              
says, 'For  dockets  commended before  July 1,  2002, the date  of                                                              
July 1, 2002,  shall be used as  the date of filing'  for timeline                                                              
purposes.  Basically  what that second sentence does  is it brings                                                              
all of  those old  stale cases up  and gives  them a new  starting                                                              
line,  which is  the same  starting line  as any  new case  that's                                                              
filed.  So everybody kind of starts  off together in that concept.                                                              
I'm not  sure what  ARECA had  for additional  language that  they                                                              
wanted but the first draft we'd left  that out and that was in the                                                              
hopes that we would  come up with some language.   And believe me,                                                              
I cannot, I don't  have the sophistication to do  that.  If anyone                                                              
else has  a recommendation,  I'd be  happy to  entertain it.   And                                                              
since I couldn't, I couldn't seem  to figure out how you would age                                                              
those cases  and define  which one  would have  priority over  the                                                              
other in  any kind  of meaningful  fashion just  based on  time of                                                              
filing, what  I did there, was I  just put the second  sentence of                                                              
the House's provision back in so  the House's provision is exactly                                                              
as we  received it  right now.   But I just  wanted to  remind the                                                              
Committee of  what the debate  was on that,  or I should  say, the                                                              
testimony was  on that should anybody  want to work  with somebody                                                              
to come  up with an amendment  on that.   And the last one  is the                                                              
task  force that  is to  inquire into  the Regulatory  Commission.                                                              
And  rather  than  go along  with  the  allocation  of  individual                                                              
membership   within  that   based  upon   which  organization   or                                                              
profession you belong  to, we just deleted those  and took it back                                                              
to  the generic,  where the  members of  the task  force would  be                                                              
appointed,  three people  by the  President of  the Senate,  three                                                              
people by  the Speaker of  the House, one  by the Governor  - that                                                              
they would work  for the next six months,  that  they would render                                                              
their report to the  next legislature on January 30,   2003, which                                                              
should   coordinate  with   the   study  that's   going  on   that                                                              
Administrative  Director  Duncan  has  now  let.    And  the  next                                                              
legislature should  have both of those available.   Hopefully this                                                              
task force would not interfere with  RCA to the extent that we had                                                              
testimony yesterday,  because 80 percent  of RCA's work  would now                                                              
be done by the other commission beginning January 1.                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: Is it really 80 percent?                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  That's  what  the testimony  was,  is,  by  the                                                              
electric  people,  is that  80  percent  of  the activity  of  the                                                              
Commission is  taken up with telecommunications.   It used  to be,                                                              
remember,  they said  it used  to be  the other  way around,  that                                                              
electrical used to take more time  in the Commission.  And with, I                                                              
guess it's the advent of technology  or deregulation or something,                                                              
I guess deregulation they said from the FCC.                                                                                    
SENATOR DONELY: Can I...                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yeah.                                                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY:  ...ask a question?   Do the, the reforms  such as                                                              
the election of the chair, the ex  parte communication provisions;                                                              
do those  apply to both  the new entity  that's being  created and                                                              
the existing entity?                                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER:  Let's see, I know for  sure that the ex  parte things                                                              
do.   I don't believe  that we carried  the election of  the chair                                                              
into telecommunications.                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Telecommunications only has three  members.  I'm                                                              
not sure how they...                                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER:  There is a  chair in the telecommunications  section.                                                              
It's  on page  12, line  17, which  the  exact, you  know, it's  a                                                              
mirror of what  the RCA, powers of  the, powers and duties  of the                                                              
commission chair is.                                                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT: But how is that chair selected?                                                                             
MS. CRAVER: Let's see.                                                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Currently RCA of  course is appointed.   They                                                              
MS. CRAVER:  Yeah, let's see.   Let's see,  how was it  done under                                                              
42.04.010?  I can't  answer that question, but I  can look and see                                                              
if I can find the answer here.                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Senator Cowdery?                                                                                               
SENATOR COWDERY: Yeah,  while she's looking for that,  you know we                                                              
discussed  a different  review  process, you  know,  by, into  the                                                              
actions and the  Commission.  Is that included any  - you know, we                                                              
talked  about monthly,  we talked  about  quarterly, yearly,  that                                                              
type of thing.  Is that, any of that in here?  Do you remember?                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I didn't see anything.                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY: Oh,  you don't mean review, you mean  like an open                                                              
bar, I mean, discussion...                                                                                                      
SENATOR COWDERY: Yeah, you know...                                                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY:  That was  in the  House bill,  that once  a month                                                              
discussion thing?                                                                                                               
SENATOR COWDERY: Yes.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Yeah, the Commission  was concerned,  and others                                                              
were concerned that  that was going to be kind  of burdensome with                                                              
the workload that  they had to meet every month with  the panel so                                                              
I didn't put that in.                                                                                                           
SENATOR COWDERY: Okay.                                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: I just  assumed that  if there's  going to  be a                                                              
task force  that is going to  look into their affairs,  which both                                                              
the House and we have here.  I'm  certain they're going to have to                                                              
meet with  and talk  to them on  occasion but  to set up  mandated                                                              
times at  which they  have to  get together  seemed to me  awfully                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY: Mr.  Chairman,  this is  what  I'm interested  in                                                              
doing at this point  is having a letter of intent  that deals with                                                              
some of the more complex issues that  specifically asks or defines                                                              
as  the intent  of the  Legislature that  this task  force make  a                                                              
specific  recommendation  back whether  or  not  the use  of  this                                                              
'baseball'  or 'last best  interest' arbitration  for setting  the                                                              
UNE rates  for tariffs is an  appropriate way to set  those, those                                                              
issues.   And also  that the, this  task force  would also  make a                                                              
specific regulation  regarding the  request of this  Committee for                                                              
the deregulation of co-ops and muni-owned utilities.                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: And how that might occur?                                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah,  and how that might occur.   So that we have                                                              
this task  force of hopefully a  lot of expertise coming  back and                                                              
making specific recommendations on  those two very complex issues,                                                              
I think.   So that the next  legislature will have a  better sense                                                              
from hopefully a group of, a panel  of experts, on which way to go                                                              
on those  issues because  I, we,  we heard a  lot of testimony  on                                                              
both those things.   I think both those things need  to be, have a                                                              
much more extensive public debate  and amount of research and work                                                              
done on them than  we're going to ever have in this  forum.  But I                                                              
would like  to have  some recommendations  come back [indisc.]  on                                                              
those issues.                                                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  And  that  was  both on  water  and  sewer  and                                                              
electric co-ops?                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Okay.   Okay, I'd  sure appreciate that  because                                                              
trying  to wade  your way  through  these statutes  and trying  to                                                              
figure out how to do that...                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DONLEY: So  you could put  it specifically  in this,  the                                                              
charge to  the task force  or we could do  it by letter  of intent                                                              
saying, 'task  force, this is  what we want  you to come  back and                                                              
give us some advice on.'  Either way.                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yeah, well, Barbara  and myself and staff will be                                                              
happy to work with you on either one                                                                                            
SENATOR  DONLEY: Maybe  I...   I guess  it'd be better  if it  was                                                              
right in here.                                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: If it's right in there, I think...                                                                             
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: ...it's clearer.  Do you understand that, Barb?                                                                
MS. CRAVER: Actually,  I wasn't listening.  I was  looking for the                                                              
other stuff.   But I'm sure  you can fill me  in.  Or you  want to                                                              
reiterate it?                                                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: We  would like it clear that one  other thing that                                                              
we're asking...                                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Senator  Donley, why  don't you  make that  as a                                                              
motion to amend?                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: I  would move that the drafters come  up with some                                                              
language that  make it clear  in the charge  to the task  force in                                                              
Section 32 that  we want a specific, the Legislature  would like a                                                              
specific recommendation  on the, on the use of  this 'baseball' or                                                              
last best interest, 'last best offer'  arbitration for setting the                                                              
UNE rate  or at  least the variables,  I guess,  in that  rate and                                                              
tariff issues  and, and I  guess I don't  mean, you know,  I, more                                                              
than just say  whether they like  that or not but make  a specific                                                              
recommendation on how they think that should be handled.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: What type of arbitration.                                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY:  Yeah, if  you're going  to use arbitration,  what                                                              
type of arbitration.                                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER: Okay.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  DONLEY:  And  second,  that also  we'd  like  a  specific                                                              
recommendation   regarding   the    issue   of   deregulation   of                                                              
cooperatives and city owned utilities.                                                                                          
MS. CRAVER: Okay, of electric cooperatives, you mean?                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: And water and sewer.                                                                                            
MS.   CRAVER:  Okay,   well,   there's  electric   and   telephone                                                              
cooperatives under 10.25.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Oh yeah. I think you...                                                                                        
MS. CRAVER: You just mean electrical cooperatives?                                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: I mean both.                                                                                                    
MS. CRAVER: You want both.  Okay, electric and telephone.                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: The concept of the co-op...                                                                                    
MS. CRAVER: Co-ops is 10.25.                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Or  you could  deregulate  as far  as rates  and                                                              
other things?                                                                                                                   
MS. CRAVER: Uh-hmm.                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: But you would probably  not be able to deregulate                                                              
as far,  or wouldn't want to  deregulate as far  as certification.                                                              
In  fact  that's   one  of  the  problems  we  ran   into  on  the                                                              
deregulation drafting  - [what]  we were trying  to do on  that is                                                              
that if  you deregulate them, you  change them, they're  no longer                                                              
defined as  a public utility because  they're not regulated.   And                                                              
if they're  not a public  utility, they  don't have the  rights of                                                              
right-of-way or  condemnation, which is  for the ability to  put a                                                              
pole in the  right-of-way.  And  all of a sudden  these companies,                                                              
these  co-ops  and other  things  would be  left  with  no way  of                                                              
putting in a new line, say, in a  city street without having to go                                                              
purchase it.  I don't think…                                                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY: I don't think this would intend that to happen.                                                                 
MS. CRAVER: Let's see.                                                                                                          
SENATOR   DONLEY:  The   intent  is   just  to   get  a   specific                                                              
recommendation from this task force.                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER:  Okay, you  wanted deregulation  of these co-ops,  and                                                              
then what were the other ones, municipally owned utilities?                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: Yea.                                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER: Okay.                                                                                                               
SENATOR DONLEY: Because I think those  are the two big issues that                                                              
we just,  you know,  don't necessarily  have time  to develop  the                                                              
expertise and the actual time to handle them.                                                                                   
MS. CRAVER: Got it.                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Let me  tell you,  I sure thought  it was  a lot                                                              
simpler than  it is.  When you  get in and start trying  to change                                                              
those statutes, each  one of them has a ramification  or an impact                                                              
on another  one and  you start chasing  one statute after  another                                                              
through  the  books.    Okay, with  that,  we're  scheduled  to  -                                                              
Barbara, go ahead.                                                                                                              
MS. CRAVER: If I could respond to Senator Therriault's question.                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes, please.                                                                                                   
MS. CRAVER:  Under 42.04.010 and  the Regulatory  Commission under                                                              
010(b)  is  where  this, the  provisions  regarding  the  Governor                                                              
designates  a chair  of  the Commission  either  by selecting  the                                                              
member nominated by the Commission  or another member.  We dropped                                                              
that section  out.  I don't know  why.  So it does  not appear in,                                                              
that in the new chapter 08 that there  is any comparable provision                                                              
that   specifies  how   the   chair  of   the   telecommunications                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: We'll need to have that.                                                                                       
MS. CRAVER: So we can stick that back in.                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  So, we have a commission with  a chair and no                                                              
mechanism telling us how we get the chair at this point?                                                                        
MS.  CRAVER:  Right.  So,  if  you   wanted  to,  you  could  take                                                              
42.04.010(b) and put it into Chapter  8, 42.08.010 and conform it.                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  And what's left  of the RCA here,  what's the                                                              
change in their selection of chair?  Is it a rotating basis?                                                                    
MS.  CRAVER: Right,  they  themselves elect  a  chair from  within                                                              
their membership every  year.  They can elect the  same person for                                                              
three consecutive  years.  Then that  person, if they  wanted, has                                                              
to take a year off before they can be elected again.                                                                            
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:   You  ought  to  make  that   as  a  conceptual                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah, I move that as a conceptual amendment.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Number two, and  that's to take care of the chair                                                              
situation where we've  left out how the Governor  or who was going                                                              
to designate  it for  the new Telecommunications  Commission.   Is                                                              
there  objection?    There being  no  objection,  that  conceptual                                                              
amendment passes.                                                                                                               
SENATOR DONLEY: And I have a third conceptual amendment.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Go right ahead, Senator Donley.                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: And I would move  that, not withstanding how other                                                              
boards  and commissions  are treated  under the  sunset law,  that                                                              
these  two commissions,  if they,  the terminology  that would  be                                                              
used when then went into their sunset  year would not be that they                                                              
were terminated until the end of  their sunset year and that, that                                                              
we specifically give the name to the last year as the…                                                                          
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: How about review year?                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY:  Well, everybody calls  it the wind-down year.   I                                                              
mean, maybe  there's  a better terminology,  but  I would like,  I                                                              
would like the termination to occur  when they're gone.  You know,                                                              
that being  the definition  of 'termination,'  when they  cease to                                                              
actually exist rather than they terminate  and then they're around                                                              
for a whole 'nother year fully doing business.                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: That could...                                                                                                       
SENATOR COWDERY: ...and that they carry on business…                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
SENATOR COWDERY: Until they're, you know...                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY:  Yeah.   Because I  think that's really  important                                                              
with these regulatory  commissions, that they have  full authority                                                              
to  continue their  business and  we ought  to say  that right  in                                                              
statute because they perform some [indisc.] functions.                                                                          
10:00 a.m.                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  We actually  drafted  a  - Senator  Donley,  we                                                              
actually  drafted   a  provision  specifically  on   that  subject                                                              
providing for that  portion of the definition, that  they would be                                                              
fully authorized and would be required  to do all functions during                                                              
that period of time.  So that would  remove any [indisc.] Attorney                                                              
General's opinion or whether something else was out there.                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY:  I would move that  that be part of  my conceptual                                                              
amendment also.                                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Okay.                                                                                                          
SENATOR  DONLEY:  And, Mr.  Chairman,  before we  get  interrupted                                                              
here.    I would  suggest  that  since  this  is  a big  chunk  of                                                              
legislation here and it's, a lot  of people are just, I don't know                                                              
when this got shoved under my door last night.                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: It was after 5:00 a.m.                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY: Okay, because I was  asleep.  But when it, that we                                                              
take a break and let people...                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Oh, I was intending to.                                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY: Good.  To take a look at this...                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: We're going to caucus at 10:00...                                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY:  ...so  people  could  give  reasonable,  have  a                                                              
reasonable opportunity to prepare  any testimony they have on this                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:   Oh  yeah,  and  there's  bound   to  be  other                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: And  in the meantime, have drafting  go off and do                                                              
these changes that the Committee's recommended so we can have...                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: We haven't voted yet on the third one.                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Does  the  committee have  questions  concerning                                                              
Senator Donley's third conceptual amendment?  Senator Ellis?                                                                    
SENATOR JOHNNY  ELLIS: So  the terminology  for this existing  RCA                                                              
and  the new  telecommunications  group  would be  different  from                                                              
every other group in statute.                                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah,  if that's what it takes.   I just, I really                                                              
think that  'terminate' is not  appropriate when  everybody agrees                                                              
the last  time they  went through  this, they  continued to  fully                                                              
function.  I mean, they weren't terminated,  they kept going.  And                                                              
it  just scares  people needlessly  I  think to  say well  they're                                                              
SENATOR  ELLIS: Mr.  Chairman,  I understand  exactly  what is  to                                                              
occur.   I think the  terminology has been  used by both  sides in                                                              
this debate  to achieve certain ends.   I understand  exactly what                                                              
'termination' means  and what the situation is.   And anybody else                                                              
who's trying to keep an objective  view understands it as well.  I                                                              
don't think it's  necessary and I think - I won't  go any further.                                                              
I don't  think it's  necessary to  have different terminology  for                                                              
this than we do in every other statute.   If you want to change it                                                              
for every other board and commission,  go right ahead.  The stakes                                                              
are definitely higher in this situation for both sides, but...                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  I'm going to  strongly recommend getting  rid of                                                              
sunset  altogether on  this Commission  or just  setting a  finite                                                              
date, there is no wind-down, there  is no nothing, that's the date                                                              
at which they end if they've not been extended.                                                                                 
SENATOR COWDERY: I think that...                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: So  there's  been a  lot  of debate  on  it.   I                                                              
personally did not feel there was  enough consensus within here to                                                              
make that  definition.   That's why  I said I  tried to  draft one                                                              
last night,  kind of left it out  because I just felt  that it was                                                              
another bite  that might  be a step  too far.   But I'm  more than                                                              
happy  to entertain  it and  I think  we ought  to have  something                                                              
drafted so that it appears in front  of us and I can support that,                                                              
Senator  Donley,  and  believe  we should  discuss  it.    Senator                                                              
Therriault, you, I think, were trying to...                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Well, the whole  idea of revisiting sunsets or                                                              
looking at that and seeing if there's  a different way, looking at                                                              
what  the  federal   government  does  instead   with  regards  to                                                              
reauthorization.   I think that's a  better way to go.   I think I                                                              
agree  with  Senator  Ellis.   The  existing  terminology  doesn't                                                              
bother me at all.  I understand it.  I think it's pretty simple.                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS:  It's consistent  throughout  statute.   If  we're                                                              
going to  change it for this,  we should change it  for everything                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Have...                                                                                                        
SENATOR ELLIS:  It would  bother me to  have special  language for                                                              
this situation.                                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Have one  commission be  using one language  for                                                              
sunset or termination and another...                                                                                            
SENATOR ELLIS: Yeah, exactly.  Change it for everything or not.                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Senator Donley.                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: I  don't disagree with that.  The  trouble is that                                                              
all  we have  before  us  right now  is  these specific  areas  of                                                              
jurisdiction.  I think that would be...                                                                                         
SENATOR COWDERY: A thing that should be addressed.                                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY:   Something  totally   separate  that   would  be                                                              
addressed separately,  you know, on how you'd do  the whole sunset                                                              
provision.  And I would support it there, too.                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Let me ask...                                                                                                  
SENATOR  DONLEY:  Because I  just  don't  think this  language  is                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Let me just ask one question.                                                                                  
SENATOR DONLEY:  I mean somebody  can say, this  board terminates,                                                              
you know,  on the  30   of June.   And the  average citizen  would                                                              
think, oh,  it's gone  on the  30  of  June, and  it's not.   It's                                                              
still there, fully functioning for  another year.  That's just not                                                              
right.  I  mean you ought to be  able to read the statutes  and as                                                              
much as  possible understand it from  the simple English  point of                                                              
SENATOR  THERRIAULT:  But  you  can.   You  just  say,  'It  shall                                                              
terminate,' section  (b), upon termination, they have  one year to                                                              
wrap up.                                                                                                                        
SENATOR  DONLEY:  That's not.    That's  simply not  what  English                                                              
means, the  English word  'terminate' means.   You're  terminated,                                                              
but you're still going to be there.  I mean it's inconsistent.                                                                  
SENATOR  THERRIAULT:   Well,  that's  Senator   Cowdery's  example                                                              
earlier.  I'm laying you off, but  you have two weeks to clean out                                                              
your desk and...                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY:  That's right.  You're  terminated as of  the date                                                              
you're gone.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COWDERY:  No, I  think that,  that this,  I don't  know if                                                              
we've ever had  any challenges, but we have lawyers  setting here.                                                              
But in the  event a decision is  made that somebody don't  like in                                                              
that wind-down  year,  has there  ever been a  challenge or  could                                                              
there be a challenge?                                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: I don't know, as  long as the statute specifically                                                              
SENATOR COWDERY:  You know,  they say that  it was terminated  and                                                              
this and that.   So I think it's an area that  needs to be cleaned                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: At  least we could have the drafter  come back to                                                              
us with some  language that we can then debate  and have something                                                              
in front of us.  It's my understanding...                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Mr. Chairman, right now we have a motion.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Just a motion at this point.                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT: We have to deal with that motion.                                                                           
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  That's what  I'm  trying  to do.    I've got  a                                                              
question though for the drafter.   And that is: aren't each one of                                                              
these  sunsets   on  these  commissions  individually   stated  in                                                              
statute?  I  know there's kind of  a catchall sunset that  I think                                                              
takes  in the  barbers  and hairdressers  and  a  whole series  of                                                              
commissions.  And  I think there's, isn't there  specific language                                                              
on individual commissions?                                                                                                      
MS. CRAVER:  Well, there  are two separate  subset sections.   And                                                              
generally the occupational boards,  I think they're in 08, I'm not                                                              
sure,  they  have   their  own  section.    And   44.66.010  is  a                                                              
termination  of State  boards and  commissions.   And it uses  the                                                              
same language  and lists  the boards to  which that applies.   The                                                              
language  actually  is, 'Boards  and  commissions  listed in  this                                                              
subsection expire  on the date set  out after each,' and  then you                                                              
have the  list and  the dates they  expire.  Then  (b) is  the one                                                              
that says, 'Upon  termination,' i.e. termination  being similar to                                                              
being expired,  'the commission  listed in  (a) shall continue  in                                                              
existence  until June  30  of the  next  succeeding  year for  the                                                              
purpose of concluding it's affairs.'  And...                                                                                    
SENATOR  DONLEY: Mr. Chairman,  remember  the testimony of  people                                                              
saying,  'I  have to  go  back  to  Wall Street  and  explain  why                                                              
termination doesn't  mean termination?'  Remember  that testimony?                                                              
So if it's  so bloody clear, why  is it that people have  this big                                                              
problem being scared that Wall Street  is freaking out because the                                                              
Commission was terminated?                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I just wanted that definition [indisc.].                                                                       
MS. CRAVER:  Senator, I just need  to be clear that  the amendment                                                              
that you  want applies to both  the Regulatory Commission  and the                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Yes.                                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER: Okay, all right.                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  That's what your  intent was, isn't  it, Senator                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  And do you feel  you have enough  information to                                                              
draft something that is consistent with Senator Donley's intent?                                                                
MS. CRAVER: Yes,  I think the idea would be to  draft an amendment                                                              
that  would  make   it  clear  that  the  Legislature   wants  the                                                              
Telecommunications  Commission and  the  Regulatory Commission  in                                                              
its year after termination to exercise  its full powers and duties                                                              
under the statute.  Yes.                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  That motion is  before us.  Is  there objection?                                                              
There being  no objection, you'll  also take care of  that, that's                                                              
the third amendment.  Are there,  I'm sure there are other matters                                                              
that people  wish to discuss  but it was  the intent of  the Chair                                                              
that we  take a  break at  this point.   We have  to go  to caucus                                                              
anyhow on  other matters  and that we  would then return  after to                                                              
take  up individual  amendments  and  testimony  on the  committee                                                              
substitute of those  who wish to testify.  I don't  intend to take                                                              
a great deal of testimony but...                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY: Five minutes?                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I do want to give  people an opportunity to react                                                              
because these  are serious  matters that may  impact people  and I                                                              
want them to have an opportunity to [indisc.].                                                                                  
SENATOR ELLIS: And your goal is to  move the bill by when?  Do you                                                              
have a general idea?                                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: My goal is to move this bill, yes.                                                                             
SENATOR ELLIS: By?                                                                                                              
SENATOR COWDERY: After testimony.                                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS: As soon as possible?                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I want to give people  an opportunity to react to                                                              
it because it's  better to do it in here than have  it all show up                                                              
on the floor.   Okay, we will  stand in recess, subject  to a call                                                              
of the Chair. [10:10 a.m.]                                                                                                      
TAPE 02-51, SIDE A                                                                                                            
1:20 p.m.                                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: ...present,  all five  members, Senators  Ellis,                                                              
Cowdery, Therriault, Donley, Chair  Taylor. Barbara would you come                                                              
forward please and  explain the changes that you  have made to the                                                              
new CS?  First, before that, Senator  Donley, motion to adopt that                                                              
CS for purposes of discussion?                                                                                                  
SENATOR DONLEY: I move to adopt the O Version.                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Is there objection?   There being  no objection,                                                              
for purposes of discussion, it is  adopted by the Committee, the O                                                              
Version.   Barbara, would you begin  with your explanation  of the                                                              
changes you have made in the last couple of hours?                                                                              
MS. CRAVER: All  right.  I'm Barbara Craver, I'm  with Legislative                                                              
Legal Affairs.   Let's see, there was a small change  in the title                                                              
on  line  5,  which  reflects  that   we're  calling  these  water                                                              
utilities  'regulated  public  utilities.'   The  next  change,  I                                                              
believe, is  on page  3 in Section  9 and we  just added  a phrase                                                              
regarding what  an ex  parte communication is.  It's 'an  ex parte                                                              
communication on  a substantive matter  that is pending  or likely                                                              
to come  before the panel.'   Just a  little bit more  discussion.                                                              
That same phrase  is used in subsection (e), also,  that's on line                                                              
24 of page 3.   And then a more - a change was  made on line 27 of                                                              
page 3  which says that 'a  communication occurring more  than two                                                              
years before  the filing of' a  matter does not qualify  a person.                                                              
It had  formerly said it  looked back five  years to see  if there                                                              
were any  conflicting sort  of ex  parte communications,  now it's                                                              
two.  I guess  I'd  like to  add  that all  of  these changes  are                                                              
mirrored later  on for the Telecommunications Commission  also and                                                              
I'll get to that.                                                                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Mr. Chairman, just a...                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes, Senator Therriault, go right ahead.                                                                       
1:24 p.m.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  'Or likely  to come before  the panel  with a                                                              
party to the proceeding.'  I'm just  wondering in practical terms,                                                              
how that would work?  And I understand  the desire to say well you                                                              
can't go talk to  them two days before you put  your thing in, you                                                              
don't  get  your spin  in  there.   But  I'm  not sure  with  this                                                              
wording, 'or likely to come before them...'                                                                                     
MS. CRAVER: Well…                                                                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  ...is pretty broad.   It seems like  it would                                                              
just  about  incorporate   discussion  of  anything   to  do  with                                                              
MS. CRAVER: Well, I think...                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Or whatever is to be regulated.                                                                             
MS.  CRAVER: Through  the chair,  I think  that the  idea is  that                                                              
substantive matters  are very  specific.  And  I didn't,  I didn't                                                              
come up with  this language, but  I don't have a problem  with it.                                                              
You know,  if you are  a person who  sets tariff rates,  don't get                                                              
into the nitty gritty of tariff rates  because it's likely to come                                                              
before you.  If  you just want to talk about  some general matter,                                                              
I  don't  think that  it  would  disqualify  you.   Is  that  your                                                              
intention Senator Taylor?                                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay.                                                                                                       
MS. CRAVER: And you know, in the  event that you err and you know,                                                              
you'll be  disqualified, it's  no horrible, you  just won't  be on                                                              
that panel.                                                                                                                     
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: Okay,  but then the  two-year look-back  from                                                              
the point that you made an error...                                                                                             
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  ...and you're  disqualified from the  - would                                                              
you be disqualified?                                                                                                            
MS.  CRAVER: No,  I think  that they're  saying, if  you have  had                                                              
something  that  might be  considered  an ex  parte  communication                                                              
within the previous two years.  You  spoke very specifically about                                                              
a  tariff rate  for a  certain type  of service  with someone  two                                                              
years  ago would  disqualify you  from  being on  a similar  case,                                                              
certainly with that party or where that issue was involved.                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  And so much  of this, the  discussions taking                                                              
place in  the context of  the big telecommunications  battles that                                                              
we've had.   But I know from  hearing from smaller  utilities, and                                                              
that's why  I kept asking  questions about the  diversion process,                                                              
they want something that is less  than the judicial process.  They                                                              
want the ability to talk to the Commissioner  and say, 'What's the                                                              
-  where's  the  problem?    Oh,  that's,  well,  we'll  get  that                                                              
information  together.'  And  I'm just  concerned that  this would                                                              
just  cut  off  that  desire from  the  smaller  players  to  have                                                              
something that's much streamlined and less costly.                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: There's nothing in here...                                                                                     
MS. CRAVER: Senator Taylor would have to speak to that.                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Well, there's nothing  in here that would prevent                                                              
them from,  RCA, from  going forward with  and creating  their own                                                              
diversionary system.   Not a thing.  And with  different standards                                                              
of  procedural  due  process, a  more  informal  process,  there's                                                              
nothing  that prevents  them from  doing that  and they have  rule                                                              
making authority.   They  could do  that.  In  fact, I  think they                                                              
said they tried  to get it started and then kind  of ran into some                                                              
problems and  felt they'd  have to  make some rules  on that.   In                                                              
fact,  I  think that  was  part  of  the discussion  that  was  in                                                              
February over at the ATA meeting  in Sitka, was how do we get to a                                                              
less formal  process than  that?  I don't  believe though  that it                                                              
takes statutory, additional statutory  authorization.  I think the                                                              
RCA already has that inherent within  it.  And I'm mentioning just                                                              
the RCA because  it's my intent, if there's consensus  on this, to                                                              
withdraw those amendments that provide for the new commission.                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay, so the  way that this is worded, if they                                                              
have a diversion  process of some  kind, should this be  worded so                                                              
that it's  specific to only  those items  that are in  that quasi-                                                              
judicial category?                                                                                                              
MS. CRAVER: Well,  if you would look at the  next section, Section                                                              
10,  42.04.090 goes  really into  detail  about what  an ex  parte                                                              
communication is considered and this  is adapted from the judicial                                                              
canon of ethics.   And certain matters, which are  factually an ex                                                              
parte contact,  would not necessarily  be considered  a violation,                                                              
i.e. each member they can stipulate  to it they can agree ahead of                                                              
time what  type of communications  are not going to  be considered                                                              
ex parte  contacts.  So I  think there's ways that  the Commission                                                              
could,  if  it was  clear  that  no  one  had an  objection  to  a                                                              
commissioner  speaking to  someone who was  or was  going to  be a                                                              
party in the  future on an issue  and it was all out  in the open,                                                              
you would be able  to avoid violating the law.   And the idea here                                                              
is to,  you know,  over-regulate and  really, really protect  even                                                              
the appearance of impartiality.   So it is intended to put up some                                                              
barriers   to    communication   between,   you    know,   between                                                              
commissioners and parties.   It does not apply  to staff, however.                                                              
So, you know, parties could still speak to staff, I believe.                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: And  is there  the language  in here that  is                                                              
very specific, that it says even something that...                                                                              
MS. CRAVER: The appearance?                                                                                                     
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: The  appearance.   Even  if  the third  party                                                              
thinks that there  might have been, then the, I guess  that was in                                                              
a different section, wasn't it?                                                                                                 
MS.  CRAVER: That's  at the,  on  the bottom  of page  3, line  28                                                              
through  31, 'Circumstances  that  might reasonably  suggest to  a                                                              
third party  that an ex parte  contact had occurred, even  if none                                                              
was made, shall be considered an ex parte contact.'                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: That's seems problematic to me.                                                                             
MS. CRAVER: It's...                                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Anyway, I'll just flag that.  Thank you.                                                                    
MS. CRAVER: Let's see...                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Any other changes?                                                                                             
MS. CRAVER: Let's see.  On page 4  in Section 10 on line 6 we have                                                              
the repeat of  the phrase on, about ex parte  communications, that                                                              
they're 'concerning  a matter  that is pending  or likely  to come                                                              
before the panel.'  Let's see, oh,  and I'd just like to point out                                                              
for Senator Therriault's  benefit, down here on page  4 at section                                                              
(d), it says 'If the parties agree  to this procedure beforehand,'                                                              
a hearing panel  may engage in ex parte communications.   So there                                                              
are procedures to get around the general ban on ex parte.                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I'm glad you mentioned  that.  In reading it, I'd                                                              
gone through  that.   I think  if anything,  that throws  the door                                                              
wide  open   for  the  Commission   itself  to  come  up   with  a                                                              
diversionary  process that  says if  you parties  wish to go  into                                                              
this diversionary  process and you  stipulate to these  rules, you                                                              
can have  very informal discussions  with the Commissioners.   And                                                              
hopefully they will use that.  I  think it's a good tool for them.                                                              
I'd like to encourage them to do that.                                                                                          
MS.  CRAVER:  Okay, let's  see.   Section  11  does  not have  any                                                              
changes, nor does  Section 12 from this morning,  nor does Section                                                              
13.  14 I think  had a very minor change, the end  of a phrase was                                                              
dropped off  of the second sentence  in Section, which is  on line                                                              
13  of page  7.   I  can't remember  the  language, but  basically                                                              
continues  to allow  the judge  to adopt  a compromise  settlement                                                              
agreement as  an order.  15,  16, 17, 18,  19.  Okay, and  then in                                                              
20,   we  have   the  establishment   of  the   Telecommunications                                                              
Commission, and  the changes here,  if any, were intended  just to                                                              
mirror the  changes that  were done to  the RCA.   So I  think for                                                              
example we  found that we  had forgotten to  put in how  the chair                                                              
was appointed.   And so, on  page 10, line  14 in (b) is  where we                                                              
added the  section, the comparable  section that's found  with RCA                                                              
saying that  the Governor  appoints the  chair of the  Commission.                                                              
We also in section  (c) of that same section, which  is on line 19                                                              
of page 10 states  that, 'Members of the commission  are appointed                                                              
for staggered terms of five years.'   The temporary law deals with                                                              
how those  initial appoints  are made  to establish a  staggering.                                                              
Let's see.  Let's see, on page 14, Section 42.08.090...                                                                         
UNIDENTIFIABLE SENATOR: What page?                                                                                              
MS. CRAVER:  Page 14, and  excuse me, I  should also say  page 13.                                                              
Those  two sections  on decision-making  procedures and  impartial                                                              
decision-making  reflect the  changes that  were done  to the  RCA                                                              
sections.  So  these should pretty much mirror the  changes.  They                                                              
have that  language about pending  or likely to, you  know, occur.                                                              
Let's see, the next change is, let's  see, on page 16, Section 28,                                                              
the language  was changed from 'water  or sewer companies'  to the                                                              
specific  a public  utility allowed  under section  (i), which  is                                                              
actually  the language  taken from  the original  Senate bill,  SB
280.   And the reason  that we had changed  it was because  at one                                                              
point it was  contemplated that water and sewer were  not going to                                                              
be public  utilities.   But they  are public  utilities and  so we                                                              
just  changed  this  back  to the  original  language.    So  that                                                              
original language is  found in 28, 29.  And then  30 was a section                                                              
that was  in 280 so we  had to add that  in to define the  type of                                                              
eligible  public water  utility.   There are a  couple of  changes                                                              
further up  on line 8 and line  11 of page 17 that  just specified                                                              
exactly how big  these utilities were supposed to  be to get which                                                              
percentage of certain eligible costs.                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: Barbara?                                                                                                        
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: Section 31, what is that repealing?                                                                             
MS.  CRAVER: That's  the one  that established  in the  Regulatory                                                              
Commission  - a  communications carriers  section.   So if  you're                                                              
going to have a separate Telecommunications  Commission, you don't                                                              
need that in  the RCA.  If you  do, if you're not going  to have a                                                              
separate telecommunications  section, you're going to  want to put                                                              
that back into the RCA.                                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Delete it?                                                                                                     
MS. CRAVER: Yeah.  Let's see 32 is there...                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: And  that applied, that applies to  phasing in the                                                              
new timelines.   That is not necessary specific to  creating a new                                                              
Telecommunications Commission.                                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: No.  You mean Section 31?                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: 32.                                                                                                             
MS. CRAVER: Oh, 32.  Right.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: 32's identical to the House.                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: Okay.                                                                                                           
MS.  CRAVER: Yes.  Let's  see, Section  33  on page  18, lines  10                                                              
through 15, include  the specific recommendations  that you wanted                                                              
to see  for the task  force, 'The task  force shall  make specific                                                              
recommendations  in  its  report advising  the  legislature  [(1)]                                                              
regarding the type  of arbitration best suited to  rate and tariff                                                              
issues;  [(2)] the  extent  of deregulation  of  the electric  and                                                              
telephone cooperatives  organized under [AS] 10.25  and the extent                                                              
of deregulation of  municipally owned utilities.'   Those were the                                                              
changes made there.                                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: I'm sorry, what lines are you on now?                                                                       
MS. CRAVER: Let's see, page 18, in line 10...                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay.                                                                                                       
MS. CRAVER: ...through 14.  Just  to very specifically require the                                                              
task force to  make some recommendations to the  Legislature.  And                                                              
let's see, 34  I think is new,  I think so.  That's  the one that,                                                              
yes, it is, it  specifies that both the Regulatory  Commission and                                                              
the Telecommunications  Commission in  the year after  termination                                                              
have, continue  to have  their full  powers and  duties under  the                                                              
title  and  they  shall  continue to  exercise  their  powers  and                                                              
perform their duties during the year  following their termination.                                                              
Let's  see, and  then Section  35 at the  very bottom  of page  18                                                              
continuing through the  top of 19 is a temporary  law to deal with                                                              
appointing   the  initial   members   of  the   Telecommunications                                                              
Commission so  that they  start the staggered  terms.   One person                                                              
will be appointed  for one year,  one person for three  years, one                                                              
person for five  years, and thereafter they'd go  on the five-year                                                              
staggered  rotation.   And  then  Section 36  is  the  same.   The                                                              
numbers  might  have changed,  but  the  intent  was to  make  the                                                              
sections that  applied to  the Telecommunications Commission  take                                                              
effect  January  1   of 2003.    Otherwise,  37 is  the  immediate                                                              
effective date.                                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Senator Therriault.                                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Back on page  18, the direction of  what this                                                              
task force  is supposed to be  looking at.  The  sentence starting                                                              
on  line   10  there,   'The  task   force  shall  make   specific                                                              
recommendations   in   its   report   advising   the   legislature                                                              
regarding,'  number, '(1)  the  type of  arbitration.'   Okay,  so                                                              
that's very  specific.   They want -  we want information  back on                                                              
which type of arbitration [that]  should be used.  Number two, the                                                              
extent of deregulation.  I don't know...                                                                                        
MS. CRAVER: Okay.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: ...the  extent.   They're  supposed to  what,                                                              
just tell  us what  extent of  deregulation we  have in  the State                                                              
right now?  Or should it say...                                                                                                 
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT: ...the impact of deregulation?                                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: What about the appropriate  level of deregulation?                                                              
That's what we want them to recommend.                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: You're looking for recommendations.                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay, well, extent just doesn't...                                                                          
MS. CRAVER: Or recommend...                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT: ...work for me.                                                                                             
MS. CRAVER: I agree.                                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah, I understand  what you're saying.  I thought                                                              
the same thing when I read it the first time, Gene.                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Good point.                                                                                                    
MS. CRAVER: We could certainly change it to the recommended...                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Well, what language would you suggest?                                                                         
SENATOR THERRIAULT: I  guess I wasn't quite sure.   I wanted to go                                                              
back to  Dave's comments yesterday.   What exactly are  we looking                                                              
for and then we figure out the wording we're looking for.                                                                       
SENATOR DONLEY: Well, we heard people wanting...                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Appropriate level, is that what you want?                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY: Co-ops  wanting to be deregulated, right?   So I'm                                                              
looking  for  a  recommendation   from  the  task  force  for  the                                                              
appropriate  level  of  regulation  or level  of  deregulation  of                                                              
electrical and telephone and municipally  owned utilities, I mean,                                                              
cooperatives, cooperatives and government  owned utilities, just a                                                              
recommendation.   So  I mean, it  can, it's  just the  appropriate                                                              
level of regulation.                                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Of regulation or deregulation?                                                                                 
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: Well,  regulation is  neutral.   Deregulation                                                              
presumes that you want to start down  that path and what matter of                                                              
degree is appropriate, so regulation would be the neutral one.                                                                  
SENATOR DONLEY: That's why I said regulation.                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Okay,  so that would, in the,  Senator Donley, in                                                              
the form of  a motion, you are  moving to amend line  13, page 18,                                                              
deleting the  word 'extent' and  inserting the words  'appropriate                                                              
level of' and deleting the D-E off  of regulation so it would make                                                              
the word read 'regulation' instead of 'deregulation.'                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: Right.                                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Is  there objection  to that  amendment?   There                                                              
being no objection, Amendment Number One passes.                                                                                
MS. CRAVER: I'd like to draw your  attention, the same language is                                                              
used  on  line  14  regarding  regulation   of  municipally  owned                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah, okay.  Same motion.                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Same motion.  Is  there objection?   There being                                                              
no objection, we put in the words  'appropriate level' on line 14,                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY: Mr.  Chairman,  are  we, well,  I  had one  quick                                                              
question.  I appreciate the work  that you did here in Section 34.                                                              
I  think it  continues  to  point out  the  misnomer  of the  word                                                              
'termination.'   Did you get  a chance, you  just ran out  of time                                                              
probably, to come up with something...                                                                                          
MS. CRAVER: Well...                                                                                                             
SENATOR DONLEY: ...along  the lines of what I was  looking for?  I                                                              
mean this is helpful.   This goes in the right  direction and it's                                                              
a good step.  I support it.                                                                                                     
MS.  CRAVER: It's  - I  would suggest  that when  you think  about                                                              
changing  the  language,   it's  used  also  in   the  boards  and                                                              
commissions  section, it's  used here  and it  might in fact  have                                                              
been  used  other  places in  their  deregulation  and  sunsetting                                                              
things that  happened when  it was  sort of the  rage to  do this.                                                              
And to the  extent that we  change those words that  have specific                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY: What  about?   You know  we were  looking at  the                                                              
statute  earlier today.   It,  the  first section  of the  statute                                                              
didn't use the word 'termination,' it used the word 'expired.'                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: 'Expired?'                                                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT: 'Expired.'                                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: Yes, 'expired.'                                                                                                     
SENATOR  DONLEY: I'd  rather say  in the year  after a  commission                                                              
expires than say in the year after it, you know...                                                                              
MS. CRAVER: I'd say that had the same legal effect because...                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
MS. CRAVER: …expire is the term used in section (a).                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY:  Because it's the  term used in the  first section                                                              
applying to what happens in a sunset, right?                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: I  think  a rose  by any  other  name smells  as                                                              
SENATOR  DONLEY:  Well, maybe,  but  then  again, the  Daily  News                                                              
wouldn't be calling liberals progressives, so...                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I'm not going there.                                                                                           
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Mr. Chairman, it  seems like whatever  you do                                                              
here though,  you've got, you've got  in the first section  of the                                                              
statute  (a) section,  it's 'expire.'   The (b)  section is  'upon                                                              
termination.'  Maybe that should  say 'upon expiration.'  And then                                                              
the  (c)  section,  the  'commission  scheduled  for  termination'                                                              
should be the 'commission scheduled  for expiration.'   So, I mean                                                              
if you're going to clean it up and make it consistent.                                                                          
SENATOR  DONLEY:   Yeah, even  that looks  inconsistent.   Because                                                              
it's  scheduled for  termination,  it seems  like the  termination                                                              
doesn't happen  until after  the year,  right?   I mean,  even the                                                              
fundamental   statute  seems   to  be   inconsistent,  mixing   up                                                              
terminology.   But  clearly  it says,  uses  expire  in the  first                                                              
section, right?                                                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Yes.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  DONLEY: Well,  Mr. Chairman,  I just  move that the  word                                                              
'termination'  be   replaced  with  the  word  'expire'   so  it's                                                              
consistent with at least the...                                                                                                 
SENATOR ELLIS: It comports more with my term of 'death-spiral.'                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: The  word is  'expiration'  that you're  looking                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Either expire or  expiration, whatever the drafter                                                              
thinks is more appropriate.  That's my motion.                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: I think we'll use expiration.                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  That's a motion to  amend to insert on  line 23,                                                              
page 18 the word 'expiration' and...                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: 25.                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: ...and on line 26.   And line 25, excuse me, line                                                              
25 and line 26 and line 28.                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Inserting the word  'expiration' in each of those                                                              
places  in place of  'termination.'   Is there  objection to  that                                                              
motion?  There being no objection, Amendment Number Two passes.                                                                 
SENATOR DONLEY: Mr. Chairman?                                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes, Senator Donley.                                                                                           
SENATOR  DONLEY: I'm  concerned with  Sections 28,  29 and  30 for                                                              
several  reasons.  One,  this issue  was addressed  in the  Senate                                                              
this year  already.  Two,  while I'm  really looking at  the other                                                              
things that  the CS  is proposing, and  they seem very  consistent                                                              
with the call, but I don't know if  this is necessarily consistent                                                              
with the  call.  It seems  like this is  not really an  RCA issue,                                                              
it's a grant, a fiscal issue.  So  I would move to delete Sections                                                              
28, 29 and 30 from the Committee Substitute.                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Sure, you  offer an  inducement and  then you                                                              
snatch it back.  That's fine, that's fine.                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: The Lord giveth and he taketh away.                                                                            
SENATOR ELLIS: Who's the Lord, Mr. Chairman?                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  I  have  no idea.    Everybody  understand  the                                                              
substance of  the motion, to  delete 28, 29  and 30 Sections?   Is                                                              
there  objection?   There  being  no objection,  Amendment  Number                                                              
Three passes.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: Mr. Chairman?                                                                                                   
SENATOR COWDERY: 28, 29 and 30?                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yep.                                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: And you understand  the intent there, Barbara?  If                                                              
there's any...                                                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: There's going to need to...                                                                                     
MS. CRAVER: Title change, yes.                                                                                                  
SENATOR DONLEY: Mr. Chairman?                                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Do you want to know how to do that one?                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY: Do you already have it charted out?                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yep.                                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: Okay, well...                                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Let's do it conceptually.                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: I  would do it conceptually first,  yeah.  But Mr.                                                              
Chairman, I, I  think that in these hearings, I  am persuaded that                                                              
it may  be a good idea  to separate, you  know to have  a separate                                                              
Telecommunications Commission.  I  mean, thinking all the way back                                                              
to  the years  I  served  as Labor  and  Commerce chair  where  we                                                              
created a  special committee on  telecommunications in  the House.                                                              
I mean,  these issues  have been very,  very challenging  and very                                                              
labor-intensive.   But  I just am  not totally  convinced this  is                                                              
the, the special session is the time  to attempt this big step and                                                              
I am, you know,  I would look forward to, I  really appreciate the                                                              
task force being  included in the CS, and to look  forward to some                                                              
sort  of recommendation  back from  the task  force, whether  this                                                              
would be,  you know, I  would support  any specific thing  to make                                                              
the task force specifically give  a recommendation too about this.                                                              
But I  don't think that,  I think that this  is just a  little bit                                                              
too big  a step to take  right at this time.   And I would  move a                                                              
conceptual amendment,  if you have the specific  sections, I would                                                              
appreciate that, to, and there's  going to have to be a conforming                                                              
amendment, I think in Section 34, too.                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Right.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  DONLEY:  To take  out  the  sections  that create  a  new                                                              
Telecommunications Commission.                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Okay,  the substance of the motion  then would be                                                              
to delete Sections  1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  6, 7, 11, 12, 15,  16, 17, 18,                                                              
20, which is a  lethal one.  31 also is necessary  to be taken out                                                              
because that  was the  repealer of that  whole section  within it.                                                              
And then a conforming amendment would  be to delete the words 'and                                                              
Telecommunications Commission' on Section 34.                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Mr. Chairman, you didn't say section 22.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Did I?  Let me find it.                                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY: That's why we...                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: What page is that one on?                                                                                      
SENATOR DOLEY: That's why we like...                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER: 15.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR DONLEY: ...conceptual amendments.                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT: 22, 23, 24, you didn't say any of those.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Oh, I'm sorry.  Yep, 22, 23, 24.                                                                               
SENATOR DONLEY: Well, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate...                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: 25.                                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: ...you  pointing this out but I  really would like                                                              
the amendment to be conceptual so  the drafter has the flexibility                                                              
to do what needs to be done.                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: No, I have no problem  with that.  And I withdraw                                                              
my comments.  I'm  just trying to walk us through  here to show us                                                              
graphically each one that would be removed.                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: Okay.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  And 27  also,  26  and 27.    But you  have  an                                                              
understanding, Ms. Craver...                                                                                                    
MS. CRAVER: Yes.                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  ...of what the  motion and the substance  of it,                                                              
are - or is, I should say?                                                                                                      
MS.  CRAVER:  Yes,   and  then  we  take  out   35  also,  initial                                                              
appointments, obviously, and 36 because  there would be nothing to                                                              
take effect.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY: But we don't want to lose all of 34, just the...                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  The  phrase  'Telecommunications   Commission,'                                                              
which appears both in the title and  then in the substance of that                                                              
MS. CRAVER: I think I've got it.                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: You  should  be  able to  just  go through  your                                                              
computer and hit delete on each of those.                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT: No, it's never...                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: But keep it around.                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: ...it's never that easy.                                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY: Don't lose that work.                                                                                           
MS. CRAVER: Oh, it's forever enshrined in our database.                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY:  Maybe that's something  someone wants to  do next                                                              
year.  And, okay, so that motion's before the committee?                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yeah.   I'm going to take a  brief recess because                                                              
I need to go to the bathroom.                                                                                                   
[THE COMMITTEE TOOK A BRIEF RECESS.]                                                                                            
1:57 p.m.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR  DONLEY:  Okay, we'll  call  the  meeting back  to  order.                                                              
There is  a motion  before us at  this time  to delete,  I believe                                                              
that's where we were at, conceptual  motion to delete the sections                                                              
of the  committee substitute that  created a separate  commission.                                                              
Is there any  objection to the motion?  Hearing  no objection, the                                                              
motion carries.  And that brings the CS back before us.                                                                         
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Doesn't that  just make you want to cry, Barb?                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY:  We really thank you  for your work, Barb,  by the                                                              
way.   Don't lose that  computer file.  I  would like to,  I would                                                              
propose an amendment to line, after  line 13 on page 18, to add to                                                              
the list  of specific inquiries that  the task force would  make -                                                              
Mr. Chairman,  I'm in  the process  of making a  motion to  add on                                                              
line, on page  18 after line 13  a new item (3) is  requesting the                                                              
task force to make a specific recommendation  as to whether or not                                                              
a  separate commission  to regulate  telephone,  telecommunication                                                              
matters should be created.                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: And that's to page 18, line 13, you said?                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY: Right after 13, in between 13...                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: It'd be the third item.                                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY:  Yeah, I guess that's  after 14.  Yeah,  it'd be a                                                              
new item number 3.                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Okay.                                                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY:  Just to ask that  the commission, the  task force                                                              
make a specific recommendation on that.                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Is there objection  to the amendment?   You made                                                              
that in the form of an amendment?                                                                                               
SENATOR DONLEY: Yes, I did.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Is  there objection to that amendment?   You have                                                              
a, you understand what he wants to do?                                                                                          
MS. CRAVER: Yes, I have it.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: There  being no objection,  that amendment  also                                                              
passes.   I assume  that the  other amendment  you went  ahead and                                                              
passed in my absence.                                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: Yes, Mr. Chairman.                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I  appreciate you taking that up.   I had a phone                                                              
call I had  to take before I came  back.  And I wanted  this thing                                                              
expedited.  So, let's go.                                                                                                       
SENATOR DONLEY: Okay.  Mr. Chairman.                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  DONLEY: I guess  we need  to go  through, unless  there's                                                              
other proposed amendments?                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I think Senator  Therriault had some questions on                                                              
a couple other items.  Didn't you, Senator?                                                                                     
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: Primarily  questions  for  somebody from  the                                                              
Commission.  So, I don't know if we have it...                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  There's a  Chair.    Senator Therriault  has  a                                                              
question for you.                                                                                                               
CHAIRWOMAN NAN THOMPSON: Okay.                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  You're under oath, Senator Therriault,  go right                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  With regards to the Commission  electing, the                                                              
language here about the Commission electing its chair...                                                                        
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: Which page are you on?                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT: It's on page 3, Section 8.                                                                                  
SENATOR COWDERY: Page 3, where?                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Section 8.                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Section 8.  I'm just wondering  if you'd make                                                              
comment on  the workability  of that.   And the position  that you                                                              
fill on the  federal board or  federal commission, is it,  does it                                                              
stem from your position as Chairman?                                                                                            
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: No.                                                                                                        
SENATOR THERRIAULT: ...or you as an individual?                                                                                 
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  Me as  an individual.   So that  wouldn't be                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Okay, no impact there.  I  was just wondering                                                              
if  you could  make  a comment  on the  change  from the  Governor                                                              
either selecting the  board's designee or appointing  and going to                                                              
this mechanism, if you have comments on that.                                                                                   
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  I don't think  the change to  election, from                                                              
election  to Governor's  appointment would  make as significant  a                                                              
difference  as the  change to  a one-year  term.   As a  practical                                                              
matter now, I was elected by the  members when we started and then                                                              
the Governor  chose the same  person that the membership  elected.                                                              
I think more problematic  in my mind is shifting  it to a one-year                                                              
term  because it  will make  the chairmanship  be more  political.                                                              
And a lot of what you have to do  when you're managing an agency's                                                              
workflow or responsible  for an agency's workflow  is sometimes be                                                              
unpopular  and suggest  to  people  that they  need  to do  things                                                              
faster or reprioritize things.  And  if you're put in the position                                                              
of, if  it's someone who's  concerned about being  reelected, then                                                              
you're not going to want to make  those unpopular decisions.  It's                                                              
going to  be harder.   It's also, in  terms of, the  agency itself                                                              
may take  different directions  or have  different emphasis  under                                                              
different chairmanships  and you're  going to keep  people, you're                                                              
going to  make the staff potentially  dizzy by, you know,  a shift                                                              
every year or so.  You'll spend a  lot more time within the agency                                                              
worrying about process and who the  chairman is.  And last, you'll                                                              
have an effect that we now see amongst  staff amplified.  And that                                                              
is,  they  know,  some  of  those  have  been,  well  like  Jeanne                                                              
McPherron that testified,  worked at the agency for  30 years.  We                                                              
all have terms.   And so, some  staff may feel the need  to not be                                                              
responsive  to  a particular  commissioner  because  they  figure,                                                              
'gee, I'm going to outlast them.   They're going to be gone.'  And                                                              
I can see the  same thing happening even more with  a shorter term                                                              
for chair.   Folks are  going to be like,  'Well, you know,  I can                                                              
just misbehave here  for six months and there'll  be another chair                                                              
so it  won't matter.'   It  basically is  going to politicize  the                                                              
position within  the agency a lot  more.  And if the  overall goal                                                              
is making  us more efficient and  better able to operate,  I think                                                              
it's  inconsistent with  that  goal  to have  a  shorter term  for                                                              
SENATOR  THERRIAULT:  Okay.   And,  let's see,  could  you talk  a                                                              
little bit about what we've got here for ex parte?                                                                              
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  There's a  couple of things  I noted  when I                                                              
was reading  through  it.  Most  significantly,  it's going  to be                                                              
very difficult  to implement.   If,  as the  drafter, Ms.  Craver,                                                              
noted,  it's   not  applicable   to  staff,   it  can   be  easily                                                              
circumvented  by the companies.   They'll just  talk to  staff and                                                              
have staff talk  to us because it's not an ex  parte contact under                                                              
this change to have  staff talk to us.  And I  think if, under the                                                              
recusal provisions,  or the  disqualification provisions,  if even                                                              
the appearance of impropriety is  how it's written in the judicial                                                              
ethics code,  and I think it's here  likely to - I  don't remember                                                              
the exact  language in  here, and  I'm not  looking at a  specific                                                              
section, but even if somebody thinks that...                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  'Reasonably suggest to a third  party that an                                                              
ex parte contact.'  'Reasonably suggest to a third party.'                                                                      
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: Right.  That's  pretty broad.  Does that mean                                                              
that  if Commissioner  X passes  Utility Representative  Y in  the                                                              
frozen food aisle at Fred Meyer and  somebody else sees them that,                                                              
'gee, they could  have been having an ex parte  contact, I'm going                                                              
to  suggest  that,  that  it  happened?'    Does  that  mean  that                                                              
commissioner  is  disqualified  from  working  on a  panel?    How                                                              
broadly are you  going to construe that?  In a  community the size                                                              
of Alaska,  that's going  to be difficult  because we all  live in                                                              
the community and have kids that  play soccer and kids that are in                                                              
Boy Scouts  and these utility  representatives are members  of the                                                              
same community.  I think it's problematic.   There's also, I noted                                                              
an inconsistency  in a  later provision,  there was the  allowance                                                              
for or the acknowledgement that you  may want to have some kind of                                                              
contact to  allow for scheduling issues.   So that seems  to apply                                                              
then, in that  particular case, there's trust  in the Commissioner                                                              
that that's  all that they're  going to talk  about.  And  I don't                                                              
know why, if  you trust them to just talk about  scheduling there,                                                              
you don't  trust them when  they pass each  other in the  aisle in                                                              
Fred Meyer.  I  don't know how you draw the distinction.   How can                                                              
you, it seems  like you either say,  you don't talk to  anybody at                                                              
all about anything or you do it.   Or you do it the way it is now.                                                              
You have  the rules that  we have amongst  ourselves that  are not                                                              
written down that say, you know,  it's okay to talk about process.                                                              
This seems to try and embody those  rules, the same things that we                                                              
were  talking  about, but  in  a way  that's  going  to be  really                                                              
difficult  to  implement  and  it   seems  a  little  inconsistent                                                              
internally  between  the two  sections.    I  guess I  just  don't                                                              
understand how this is going to work.                                                                                           
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay, and let me just flip here.                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Senator Cowdery, if you'd...                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Yeah, go ahead while I'm flipping.                                                                          
2:08 p.m.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR COWDERY: Well, you know,  you said earlier, or someone, in                                                              
earlier testimony  that whenever something happens,  [indisc.] you                                                              
just  say  that  like  a  judge  would  say,  'We  cannot  discuss                                                              
anything.'   But to  say my kid  is playing in  your team  I don't                                                              
think has anything  to do it, if  in the soccer mom thing  or this                                                              
and that.   I  think I  had a  situation [indisc.]  Fred Meyer,  a                                                              
court case  pending and I  ran into the judge  at Fred Meyer.   We                                                              
said 'hello' and  everything and it was pending.   And I'm sure if                                                              
I'd have said, 'Hey, about this case,' he would...                                                                              
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: The judge would have said no.                                                                              
SENATOR COWDERY: ...you know, that's his duty to do that.                                                                       
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  No, I agree  with you absolutely.   But what                                                              
if, under this language that's in  the last sentence of (e) on the                                                              
bottom of  page 3, somebody else  sees you saying hello,  and that                                                              
reasonably suggests  to a third party that they were  having an ex                                                              
parte contact  because somebody  else that  just sees you  talking                                                              
isn't going to know what you were talking about.                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: That's the standard  the judges live under now all                                                              
the time.                                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TYALOR: Every day.                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: And  it's, you know, I mean, obviously  two people                                                              
on the aisle,  you know, in a  grocery store, you know  unless you                                                              
hear them  discussing the  case, it's  probably not reasonable  to                                                              
suppose that they scheduled a meeting there with shopping carts.                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: No, I agree, but who's going to decide?                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY: Now, if you see them  in a bar together, you know,                                                              
back in a dark  room, I mean, I could reasonably  have a suspicion                                                              
that something's not kosher.                                                                                                    
CHAIRWOMAN  THOMPSON:  Who  decides   whether  it's  a  reasonable                                                              
suggestion or not?                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: The judge does.                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: So...                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Because that's where it ends up.                                                                               
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: Okay, so how does this get implemented?                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  The very same people  that have to live  by that                                                              
standard every day.                                                                                                             
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  But how does it get implemented?   Does that                                                              
suggestion go directly  to court so you have to file  a lawsuit if                                                              
you want to say a commissioner is  having improper contact?  Or do                                                              
you file  something with  the Commission saying  I saw,  you know,                                                              
this is  what I'm suggesting?   I just  don't understand  how this                                                              
works, you know, as a practical matter.                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  You have the  right to create  those regulations                                                              
and are authorized to do so.                                                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY: Yeah.                                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: And  I would think  that you  would provide  for                                                              
some type of  notice provision where a plaintiff  before you could                                                              
notice  the Commission  that they  had concerns  about that.   And                                                              
then the  Commission itself, absent  that member, would  take that                                                              
issue up  and determine  it.   Their determination  would then  be                                                              
subject  to court  review in  the  Superior Court,  just like  any                                                              
other decision they make, yes.                                                                                                  
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: So what happens, go ahead.                                                                                 
SENATOR   THERRIAULT:   Mr.  Chairman,   but   maybe  there's   an                                                              
explanation,  But it says  that a  third party,  even if  none was                                                              
made, even if no ex parte was made...                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Let me give you  an example.  Second  day of the                                                              
hearings held  in Anchorage,  the Commissioner  invited up  to her                                                              
office Ron  Duncan and Dana  Tindall, closed  the door and  was in                                                              
there  for an  hour and  a half.   Now,  would that  give you  the                                                              
suspicion that  maybe she was  talking with them  about something?                                                              
It might  me.  Especially  when I asked  the question  about who'd                                                              
you talk to and what had been going  on the next day and we didn't                                                              
discuss any  of that, did we?   I think  that would cause me  as a                                                              
third person to be concerned.  Would  that be reasonable?  I don't                                                              
know.  That would  be determined by some third-party  objective, I                                                              
would hope, involved in that matter.                                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  So, through the regulatory  process you would                                                              
imagine that  they'd put together  something where  somebody could                                                              
express   their  concern.     The  Commissioner   would   have  an                                                              
opportunity to explain, 'Yes, I spent  the weekend with them.  I'm                                                              
the  den leader  of  the  Cub Scouts  and  they  were one  of  the                                                              
volunteer parents.   Their  kid's in Cub  Scouts.  We  didn't talk                                                              
about the issue.'  And so they've  explained that even, that no ex                                                              
parte communication has taken place,  they've explained that.  And                                                              
they'd be able then to dismiss that concern.                                                                                    
SENATOR  DONLEY: Well,  the other members,  hopefully they  would,                                                              
the other members  of the panel would vote on whether  or not they                                                              
though it  was reasonable  concern or  not.  If  they felt  it was                                                              
reasonable  concern, they  should  recuse  that commissioner  from                                                              
that  decision-making.   And if  it wasn't  reasonable, then  they                                                              
would so find  and their finding in not being  reasonable would be                                                              
subject to appeal, I suppose.                                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  We do  this every  day in the  court system.   I                                                              
really don't...                                                                                                                 
SENATOR COWDERY: We do it on the floor.                                                                                         
SENATOR THERRIAULT: But okay...                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  We do it on the  floor as far as our  own fellow                                                              
members are concerned.  If, in fact,  although I have not seen it,                                                              
but if in  fact one of our  members were sufficiently close  to an                                                              
issue that  it was going to  have significant financial  impact on                                                              
them and they made a good explanation  of that to us, I think most                                                              
of us  would vote  to excuse them.   I  think that's an  untenable                                                              
position to put them in.                                                                                                        
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  But the members stand up quite  often and say                                                              
'I  have a  conflict,' and  we object  and that's  it, there's  no                                                              
explanation, there's  no vote.  But  that's, I don't  think that's                                                              
subject to appeal  to the courts.  And the courts  then would look                                                              
at the  statute and say  even if you've  explained that  there was                                                              
none  there, if  it's  appeallable  only to  the  courts then  the                                                              
courts are going to look at this law.                                                                                           
SENATOR  DONLEY:  Well,  that's different  though  because  you're                                                              
dealing  with   a  quasi-judicial  fact-finder  here   versus  the                                                              
legislative   process.     It's   just  two   separate  types   of                                                              
governmental functions.                                                                                                         
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Well, this comes from the court system.                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: Right.                                                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  And if  somebody makes  an allegation  in the                                                              
court system, the judge can say, 'I disagree.'                                                                                  
SENATOR DONLEY:  Well, the first  thing you do  is you go  and you                                                              
ask  the judge,  you  say, 'Your  Honor, I  move  that you  excuse                                                              
yourself from  this case  because I saw  you at the  grocery store                                                              
with so-and-so.'   And the  judge goes,  'Well, you know  what, we                                                              
were  both shopping  there,  we walked  down  the  same aisle,  we                                                              
didn't say a word  about this. You know, and I  don't think that's                                                              
a reasonable motion, to excuse me  just because I ran into them at                                                              
the grocery store.'                                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Where does it go  from there?  That's  what I                                                              
don't know.                                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: Well, then you can appeal.                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Right.  And what you  appeal to is you  go to an                                                              
independent judge.                                                                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Yep.                                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: And  that judge holds that issue  to a reasonable                                                              
man's standard.   And literally, if the perception  is such that a                                                              
reasonable person  would conclude that  there was a  perception of                                                              
conflict, that's all it takes.  And  they do recuse themselves and                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Barbara seems to be anxious to say something.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yeah, Barbara?                                                                                                 
MS. CRAVER: I just want to point  out that 080, which is Section 9                                                              
on page  3, is not  taken from the  code of judicial,  the cannon,                                                              
the  one that  is on  page  4, Section  10,  that one.   Not  that                                                              
they're  necessarily  inconsistent but  just  to  the extent  that                                                              
you're assuming that the language  in, it's 090 is the one that is                                                              
taken from the judicial ethics.                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Right.                                                                                                         
MS.  CRAVER:  Okay,  I  just  wanted   to  make  sure  you  hadn't                                                              
misunderstood that.                                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay, so the...                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  That provides significant  additional definition                                                              
if you want to look, page 4, paragraph (c).                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  So, we don't  know if the  judicial standards                                                              
actually have  this wording  that says, even  if no ex  parte took                                                              
MS. CRAVER: I'm sorry, did you ask a...                                                                                         
[CONVERSATION ABOUT CHAIRS]                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY:  Gene, what specific  sentence are you,  where are                                                              
you at exactly?                                                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Page 3, line 29.                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: 29, okay.                                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT: The end of the sentence.                                                                                    
SENATOR  DONLEY:  'Circumstances  might reasonably  suggest  to  a                                                              
third party.'  That language there?                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: No, that's okay, but then...                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY: Even if none...                                                                                                 
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: …even  if you explain  no communication  took                                                              
place, I  kind of  read that that  then you're  out.  Even  if you                                                              
have an absolutely, we just passed in the frozen food aisle.                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY: No, because that's  not reasonable, Gene.  I mean,                                                              
what's reasonable is  more like the scenario I gave.   If you find                                                              
them, you know,  one-on-one in a conversation, you  know.  I mean,                                                              
that's,  that's,  I  mean,  and   it's  still  going  to  be  some                                                              
impartial,  you   know,  well,  hopefully,   I  mean,   the  other                                                              
commissioners  are going  to be able  to make  that decision,  you                                                              
know.  I mean...                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  I need to think  about it a little  bit more.                                                              
But food for thought there.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  The question  is literally  one of a  reasonable                                                              
man interpretation of what the events  may be perceived to reflect                                                              
in a  reasonable person's  mind.  And  that is a higher  standard,                                                              
but  it's a  standard  to  which  we're actually  holding  hearing                                                              
officers to right now.                                                                                                          
MS. CRAVER:  Senator  Taylor, we  had in our  office discussed  it                                                              
basically  as a  paraphrasing of  the  appearance of  impropriety.                                                              
You  don't  need  to  prove  that  impropriety  occurred  but  the                                                              
appearance is so compelling that  it impairs the reputation of the                                                              
people involved and  it appears as if they could  have indulged in                                                              
ex parte  or improper  conduct.   And you need  to avoid  even the                                                              
appearance of it.                                                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I don't know of any other way to do it.                                                                        
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: And  I'm not  saying that  I have the  answer                                                              
either.  Nan, I'm not sure if I cut you off then.                                                                               
CHAIRWOMAN  THOMPSON: Well,  there  are two  other  things that  I                                                              
noticed which are  more in the nature of questions,  which is, and                                                              
actually one  of them was highlighted  by what you  just described                                                              
as, you  know, it comes  to the Commission,  there's some  kind of                                                              
process and  then it goes  on to court if  you don't agree.   What                                                              
happens  to the timeline  if there's  some kind  of recusal  issue                                                              
pending?   And what happens if  you have so many  complaints about                                                              
it that you don't have a panel anymore?   I mean, under the, and I                                                              
understand that you're considering  amending it to get rid of this                                                              
Telecommunications  Commission as a  separate body so  that'd give                                                              
you a  few more.   But how  are you going  to empanel  a decision-                                                              
making group if you've got, you know,  a couple, with a group this                                                              
small, if  a couple  of them are  eliminated because  there's some                                                              
allegation that they might have had  ex parte contact even if none                                                              
was made?  And  if you're, you can't move forward  and be actively                                                              
making a decision  on a case if you're in the  process of deciding                                                              
whether one of your panel is eligible  to participate or not.  So,                                                              
and at  the same time  the bill has  very strict timelines.   What                                                              
you're going  to do  is freeze, you're  going to  put a  window of                                                              
time in there when they're not going to be able to act.                                                                         
SENATOR  DONLEY:  How  do  you  think   your  timelines  are  more                                                              
restrictive than the constitutional  timelines for a speedy trial?                                                              
I mean you've  got the same problem  there.  I mean,  you know, if                                                              
you  have five  members on  a panel,  you're currently  appointing                                                              
three to  make decisions.  That  gives you two free  bites, right,                                                              
before you run into a problem.  And...                                                                                          
TAPE 02-51, SIDE B                                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY:   ...reasonably adopt  some regulations on  how to                                                              
deal with  a problem if  all three, you  know, if there  was three                                                              
people that, you know, ran into this.   The odds of that are going                                                              
to  be pretty  de minimis  to start  with.   But I  think it'd  be                                                              
reasonable to adopt some regulations,  if this happens, then this.                                                              
You could bring in a, you might,  you know, suggest something even                                                              
next year, you know, bring in some sort of temporary...                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Hearing officer or temporary...                                                                                
SENATOR  DONLEY: Yeah,  have  the hearing  officer  serve as  your                                                              
third person  or something.   But  this wouldn't  be that  hard to                                                              
craft between now and the next legislative session.                                                                             
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: How is that on ex parte?                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Well,  the  other  choice, you  know,  is to  go                                                              
forward and make  a decision with a panel that is  impugned.  What                                                              
a dandy thing  that is for the  public and for the  people sitting                                                              
before you.                                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Could, unless  you've got any  other comments                                                              
on that, I want to move to the timelines section.                                                                               
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: Okay.                                                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT: And I have to find it myself here.                                                                          
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: It's page 6.                                                                                                   
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: It's on page 6.                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Section 13.                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Just to hear  your comments.  Now  we've got,                                                              
the due  cause has been,  has been pulled  out.  And  I understand                                                              
the potential  for abuse, you know,  and things just  moving ahead                                                              
and using due cause to extend things  indefinitely.  But I want to                                                              
understand how this might work.                                                                                                 
CHAIRWOMAN  THOMPSON: I  think the  potential problem  I see  with                                                              
eliminating good  cause is  what you have  here is something  that                                                              
allows either all the parties, allows  all the parties to agree to                                                              
make an  extension so it  puts one party,  any of the  parties, in                                                              
the position of holding the others  hostage and just saying, 'No.'                                                              
And there are reasons, the example  of a big case where additional                                                              
information  gets filed shortly  before the  hearing goes  and the                                                              
parties need a chance to analyze  it in order to present the case.                                                              
That  one  party  that  waited  until  the  last  minute  to  file                                                              
something is just  going to say, 'No,' when everybody  asks for an                                                              
extension.   So everybody  else is put  in the position  of saying                                                              
'Well, we either have to let this  go into effect by default or go                                                              
to trial with the ability not to  develop a complete record.'  And                                                              
the Commission's  put in a  position, because the  parties haven't                                                              
been able  to develop a complete  record, of making a  decision on                                                              
less  than   a  complete   record.    I   think  that   there  are                                                              
circumstances  that are  good  cause and  that  if you  completely                                                              
eliminate that and  have as the only option all  parties agreeing,                                                              
you're  empowering one  recalici  - creating  the opportunity  for                                                              
gamesmanship  that  would  not  benefit   a  good  decision-making                                                              
process.   I think that  the version  which required us  to report                                                              
good cause and then the Legislative  Budget and Audit Committee or                                                              
the Legislature can scold us and  say 'Gee, that's not good cause,                                                              
you shouldn't  have done  that,' was better.   There  was adequate                                                              
incentive, with that additional burden  of reporting, if cause, if                                                              
a case is ever  extended for good cause.  I thought  that was more                                                              
workable in a practical sense.                                                                                                  
2:12 p.m.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Okay, but  there was  some concern  that that                                                              
[indisc.] report to  the Legislature, you know, from  two years to                                                              
two years, maybe  the Chairman pays attention maybe  he doesn't on                                                              
LBA.  If you had information that  was filed, you're getting close                                                              
to the decision  date, what length of time would  you need under a                                                              
due cause  mechanism, do you think,  to incorporate that  and make                                                              
sure you have  a good record and  the ability?  Because  I, one of                                                              
my concerns  is if it's  a tremendous  rate increase  request, and                                                              
you get  right up there  and maybe the  person making  the request                                                              
files  that  last-minute  information,   nobody  else,  you  know,                                                              
they're  saying, 'Wait  a minute,  we haven't  had time to  digest                                                              
this.'  You  get to the deadline,  that rate increase  just, boom,                                                              
goes into effect, which is impacting the ratepayers, consumers.                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: They've  got, they've  got every opportunity  to                                                              
turn it down, too.  Nothing precluding  you from making a decision                                                              
that says, 'No, you're not entitled to that...'                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT: But they would  turn it down.  Do we want them                                                              
to make  a policy  call, 'We're  just saying  no because  we don't                                                              
know?'  Or should we give them the ability...                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: We've  had a lot  of testimony  of them  saying,                                                              
'Yes' without knowing so.                                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Or should  we give them  the ability  to make                                                              
sure the record's complete and then make a good decision?                                                                       
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  It's tough to say without  the circumstances                                                              
of a particular  case how much time you'd need.   I think what you                                                              
want  as a  policy  matter  is for  us  to be  able  to make  good                                                              
decisions, for us  to be able to have an adequate  record in front                                                              
of us before we make decisions.   And I can't tell you that that's                                                              
an additional month  or it may be a week, it may be  six moths.  I                                                              
don't know.   It depends  on the case  and what the  circumstances                                                              
are.  Which  is why I thought,  you may not want to  call it 'good                                                              
cause,'  but some  way to  allow  an extension  when it  [indisc.]                                                              
merit seems like a better way to deal with that issue.                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Mr. Chairman, it's just the abrupt...                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I've been concerned about it, also.                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT: ...seems problematic.                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  I move  to amend page  6, line, between  27, 28,                                                              
insert the same  provision that the House had,  with the following                                                              
exception: That good cause may only  be extended once and only for                                                              
a period of 90 days.                                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: I like that.                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT: And still have the reporting to...                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY: LBA or whoever.                                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT: You said...                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  I had  left  out  the  reporting here,  but  if                                                              
anybody wants the reporting, I don't...                                                                                         
SENATOR  THERRIAULT:  I  wasn't  sure  when  you  said  the  House                                                              
language with 90 days.  I wasn't sure.                                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY: Right.  I like the reporting.                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: But  I don't think we had the  reporting in here,                                                              
did we?                                                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY: We didn't need it with this.                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: We didn't need it with this.                                                                                   
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: There was nothing to report.                                                                               
MS. CRAVER: ...Section…                                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  ...that you  don't need if  you're not  going to                                                              
have a good cause to be reported.                                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Right.                                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY:  If we  go back to  90 days  with good  cause, I'd                                                              
still like to  know how many times they're extending  for 90 days.                                                              
So, yeah, I would like the reporting back in there.                                                                             
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  Okay,  I'll modify  the  amendment  to  suggest                                                              
conceptually  that  you  also utilize  that  same  provision  that                                                              
report would have  to be made to the Legislature  and I think it's                                                              
quarterly if I remember right.                                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER: I can duplicate that.                                                                                               
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:   On  how  many  of  these   good  cause  90-day                                                              
extensions  occurred.    Is there  objection  to  that  amendment?                                                              
There being no objection, that amendment passes.                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY:  And I would  just, I know  you guys got  a really                                                              
hard job.   But, you know, if  a defendant refuses to  waive their                                                              
speedy trial  rights in  the criminal  justice system,  the courts                                                              
shift into  hyper-drive  and they  get the evidence  and they  get                                                              
ready and they go to trial.  I mean it's just a matter of...                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: It's 145 days.                                                                                                 
SENATOR DONLEY:  Yeah, you need to  tighten up, you know,  so that                                                              
people don't,  and if somebody comes  in at the last  minute, just                                                              
like in those kind  of, those situations and dumps  a bunch of new                                                              
evidence  that   wasn't  available  to  the  parties   during  the                                                              
discovery, the  judge makes a ruling,  says, 'Look,' you  know, if                                                              
it's something  really, you know,  like here's an  eyewitness that                                                              
is  very, you  know, that's,  you know,  I mean,  maybe the  judge                                                              
allows it  in.   But if it's  just a bunch  of new paperwork,  the                                                              
judge  goes, 'Hey,  you  didn't, you  didn't  meet your  discovery                                                              
guidelines and  I'm not  letting you put  this into evidence.'   I                                                              
mean, that, you can adopt reasonable  criteria like that for your,                                                              
for your discovery  process and for your evidentiary  process.  As                                                              
long as you use due process principles  in conforming to them, you                                                              
can make it work.                                                                                                               
CHAIRWOMAN  THOMPSON: What  if, and  this is  a circumstance  that                                                              
happened recently,  that additional information would  result in a                                                              
rate decrease?  So I, as a policy  maker, am forced to say, 'Well,                                                              
you filed that too  late.  I'm not going to consider  that in this                                                              
trial.   You've got to  file in  a separate trial.'   But if  I do                                                              
that, I know,  you know, I'm potentially having  consumers charged                                                              
too much  for a  period of time.   That's  not consistent  with my                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: When would it ever end then?                                                                                    
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: Huh?                                                                                                       
SENATOR DONLEY: I mean, you give  this example, well, will it ever                                                              
end?  Will you ever make a decision?   Maybe somebody will walk in                                                              
here next  week with  some suggestion that  maybe we  could reduce                                                              
some rates  again.  You know, it'll  never end if you  don't adopt                                                              
some timelines  and some criteria.   And when that rate,  when the                                                              
issue comes  back around, you're  going to know that  evidence and                                                              
you're going  to be able  to conform, you  know, I mean,  and make                                                              
that call.  I mean - it's just kind  of like what we've been going                                                              
through for  the last two weeks here.   When was it ever  going to                                                              
end?  We're just trying to bring this to a resolution.                                                                          
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: We've had 30 hours of testimony...                                                                             
SENATOR DONLEY:  Maybe it's  not the most  perfect bill  and maybe                                                              
it's not  the bill that  I wanted, but  at some point,  somebody's                                                              
got to make a decision in government, right?                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: After 30 hours of  testimony, there was one thing                                                              
that was  consistent in the complaints  that were raised.   It was                                                              
that you didn't  have a handle on discovery and you  didn't have a                                                              
handle  on how long  it was  going to  take in  the process.   And                                                              
every single  one of  these people talked  about would  you please                                                              
implement some  regulations; give us  a level playing field  so we                                                              
have some  timelines.   The only reason  these timelines  are here                                                              
from the  House is because  of that same  angst being  reported to                                                              
them over there.  So, please, try  to find some way to incorporate                                                              
some regulations  that we  don't have to  impose on you.   Because                                                              
we'll  do it  wrong.   I would  hope that  you would  do it  right                                                              
because you know what you need to do.                                                                                           
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Mr. Chairman, do  we have, we have  a pending                                                              
motion now, I think.                                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: The motion was from the chair to...                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: That motion was approved.                                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  And that  was to  add the reporting  requirement                                                              
and a 90-day extension under good cause from the Commission.                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay, and...                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Anything further?                                                                                              
CHAIRWOMAN  THOMPSON: Any other  further comments  on the  bill in                                                              
any other specific section, or just generally?                                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT: On the bill.                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  The only  other part that  I think  is quite                                                              
problematic,   there's  a   lot   of  little   details  that   are                                                              
problematic, but  I focused, in  the time I  had to review  it, on                                                              
the  big-picture items,  and  this is,  again,  assuming that  the                                                              
telecom commission  is out, has to  do with the provisions  on the                                                              
commission that's created,  the task force as it's  called in this                                                              
bill.  The task force...                                                                                                        
SENATOR COWDERY: What page is that?                                                                                             
CHAIRWOMAN  THOMPSON: It's  on  page 18,  Senator  Cowdery.   It's                                                              
Section 33.   I don't, with all  due respect, I don't  - I thought                                                              
that industry representatives  who knew more about  our work would                                                              
be better qualified  to provide useful suggestions.   I also think                                                              
that section (c) allowing them access  to confidential information                                                              
is quite problematic.   We have a lot of  confidential information                                                              
that  relates   to  utility   finances,  competitively   sensitive                                                              
information, trade  secrets.  And  this suggests that  the members                                                              
of this commission  have access to  all that.  It  doesn't clearly                                                              
tell me  whether that  task force  is subject  to the  legislative                                                              
ethics act, the  executive branch ethics act.  And  I imagine that                                                              
the utilities who file confidential  information with us need some                                                              
reasonable  assurance that  that  confidentiality is  going to  be                                                              
protected.  That raised, that was a red flag in my mind.                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY:  Barbara, do you think  we could tie it  to one of                                                              
the specific provisions,  probably it would be  more appropriate -                                                              
be in  the administrative  ethics act  as far as  confidentiality?                                                              
What would  be the  penalties for  violating confidentiality,  you                                                              
MS. CRAVER: My goodness.                                                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY: I'm  not asking what the penalties  would be.  But                                                              
maybe we link it  to whatever it is for, you  know, the Department                                                              
of  Revenue   handles   confidential,  you   know,  oil   and  gas                                                              
information all  the time.  You know,  there must be some  sort of                                                              
existing penalty in law for violation of that.                                                                                  
MS. CRAVER:  I think  the consequences  for violating  Legislative                                                              
Ethics Acts,  which I know more  about, are they basically  get to                                                              
public  censure.    They're  not  significant  civil  or  criminal                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY:  Well, that's, I'm  not even suggesting  that this                                                              
is the same as the legislative act...                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I can tell you that...                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY: [Indisc.].                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN   TAYLOR:   ...violating   the,   if  you've   signed   a                                                              
confidentiality  agreement with  the executive  branch and  you're                                                              
going to go in and start looking at oil...                                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY: Could be the executive branch...                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  ...it's forever.   You can  never reveal  any of                                                              
it.  And if you ever do reveal any  of it, you can be subjected to                                                              
civil suit by  any party that assumes they've been  damaged by it.                                                              
Which means any oil, if you're in  there looking for oil revenues,                                                              
any oil  company has the  right to sue  you forever.   It's pretty                                                              
heinous.  Most people have a real hard time signing that one.                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY:  They didn't  get me to  sign that one  during the                                                              
Exxon oil spill because I just wouldn't do it, I mean, yeah.                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Mr. Chairman,  first of all, was this language                                                              
included in the House suggestion on their...                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yep.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  THERRIAULT:  ...commission?    Did  they  have  this  (c)                                                              
section?  And  is there, we've spelled out three  different things                                                              
here  that we  want them  to look  at.   Do we  believe that  it's                                                              
necessary   that  they   have  access   to   all  that   corporate                                                              
profitability  information to  do  what this  commission, what  we                                                              
would like this commission to do?                                                                                               
SENATOR DONLEY:  [Indisc. Sentence.]   I mean,  I think  that they                                                              
ought to have  the discretion to act  as they think they  need.  I                                                              
mean, this  doesn't say that they have  to go get this  stuff.  It                                                              
just  says that  they  have access.   I  think,  you know,  people                                                              
should be allowed, they should have  access if they feel they need                                                              
it,  you   know,  as  long  as   they  make  sure  they   keep  it                                                              
SENATOR  THERRIAULT:  So if  you  have somebody  who's  appointed,                                                              
somebody who's appointed  to this body who is  associated with one                                                              
of the  companies, and  if we  want company  expertise, they'd  be                                                              
able  to go  and  get information  on  their competitor,  look  at                                                              
information, confidential, corporate information.  Why...                                                                       
SENATOR DONLEY:  They would have  the obligation under  penalty of                                                              
whatever the executive branch act  is, if we incorporate that, not                                                              
to use that  and not to reveal  it to their company.   Second, you                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I think...                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: ...a reasonable person  wouldn't do that, first of                                                              
all, you know, wouldn't abuse it that way.                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  I  don't  know   how  they'd  even  accept  the                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY:  I mean  one of  the safeguards  you could  use is                                                              
SENATOR COWDERY: What about the same standards as the...                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY: ...the  task force, you know, if  they're going to                                                              
be asking  for confidential  information, is the  task force  as a                                                              
whole would  have to, you  know, agree to  go ask for that.   That                                                              
would be  one safeguard.  So  you wouldn't have one  individual as                                                              
in your scenario.                                                                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT: That'd give me a little bit more comfort.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  What safeguards  do we have  right now  with the                                                              
Commissioners themselves  who have access to all of  this?  What's                                                              
their penalty?                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  DONLEY: Of  course, there's  a difference.   They're  not                                                              
specifically  working  for  any for-profit  agency  as  in  Gene's                                                              
scenario, which I think is legitimate.                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: I  think is  a  good scenario  and I  appreciate                                                              
that.  What do  we have for Commissioner right now?   Why not give                                                              
them the same standard of penalty?                                                                                              
MS. CRAVER: Commissioners are public  officers under the executive                                                              
branch ethics  act.   Whatever they, well,  the conflict  would be                                                              
using it for private gain.  It wouldn't  necessarily be, you know,                                                              
selling  secrets  to a  competitor,  you  know, to  an  interested                                                              
party, which is like criminal.                                                                                                  
SENATOR DONLEY: Let me propose this.                                                                                            
MS. CRAVER:  Beyond ethics.                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY:  Let me try  this.  Barbara,  I'm going to  move a                                                              
conceptual amendment  that to access confidential  information, it                                                              
has to  be a vote  of the majority  of the  task force.   First of                                                              
all, that prevents  the scenario where one individual  in the task                                                              
force goes  and grabs  information.   I mean if  they want  to get                                                              
confidential information,  they as a group have got  to agree that                                                              
this is  something they really  want to see.   So that's  my first                                                              
MS. CRAVER: The task force requests  confidential information from                                                              
the Commission and  the Commission has to decide  by a majority to                                                              
release that?                                                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: Not the Commission, no.                                                                                         
MS. CRAVER: The task force?                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY: The  task force by majority vote  has to decide if                                                              
they want it.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Are you  going to then  also tie that  to the                                                              
executive ethics standards somehow, too?                                                                                        
SENATOR  DONLEY:  Yeah,  I  think  they ought  to  be  subject  to                                                              
whatever the executive  act ethics standards are  regarding access                                                              
to  confidential  information.     I  would  include  that  in  my                                                              
conceptual motion.                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Everybody understand the motion?   Discussion on                                                              
it?   Is this  the same standard  or language  that the  House had                                                              
concerning their task force?                                                                                                    
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  No, Senator Taylor,  the task force  was not                                                              
in the House version.                                                                                                           
UNIDENTIFIABLE SENATOR: Yeah, it was.                                                                                           
MS. CRAVER: Yeah, there's...                                                                                                    
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: It was an advisory committee.                                                                              
MS. CRAVER: Well, it's the same.                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Okay, advisory committee.                                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY: With all that long list and all.                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: Yeah there are, Senator...                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR:  Every token  profession  that  we can  find,  I                                                              
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: The other ...                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: ...wanted to be on it, so...                                                                                   
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  The other big  difference between  the House                                                              
version and  this version  is this task  force is entitled,  under                                                              
section (a), 'to inquire into all  aspects of the operation of the                                                              
Regulatory Commission.'  And under  the House version, it was, the                                                              
committee was supposed to investigate  and propose reforms limited                                                              
to the Committee's regulatory process.   The authority of the task                                                              
force is  much broader.  It  arguably allows them to  inquire into                                                              
substantive results.  And the policy  concern there is what you're                                                              
creating is a shadow commission.   You're going to have someone, a                                                              
group, which,  if they want to,  is empowered to  second-guess the                                                              
Commission on all of its decisions with authority that broad.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  After second-guessing  they render a  report and                                                              
they give that to the Legislature.                                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Well, was there a conscious  decision to make                                                              
their charge  something more than  looking at the  process, making                                                              
suggestions on the process of the Commission?                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: It's to make it  as broad as possible for them to                                                              
look at  things like deregulation,  which wouldn't be part  of the                                                              
regs, which  your group's  limited to, the  House group.   I don't                                                              
know  how they,  they  look at  the  questions  like, 'What's  the                                                              
better form of arbitration?'                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Well, that's process.  That's process.                                                                      
SENATOR  DONLEY:  I understand  the  distinction.   I  appreciate,                                                              
yeah, I,  but don't have a  big problem with  it.  I mean  I don't                                                              
know why  that's bad.   I mean if they  choose to look  at things,                                                              
other things  to help them  reach a conclusion  as to  the process                                                              
things, I'm  okay with  that.   They don't  have any authority  to                                                              
make  any  substantive  changes.    They  come  back  and  make  a                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: That's  the same  information  our auditors  are                                                              
entitled to, isn't it?                                                                                                          
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: I  don't know,  our auditors  did the  audit,                                                              
would   they   have  access   to   the   corporate   profitability                                                              
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON:  The confidential  information?   They didn't                                                              
ask.  I  don't know whether they  had the legal authority  to have                                                              
access to that  information or not.   But I don't think  when the,                                                              
the legislative  auditors were looking  at our process and  to see                                                              
whether we were adequately performing  what we were required to do                                                              
under the statute.  The confidential  information of any utility's                                                              
finances wouldn't have been relative, relevant, sorry.                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY: Is this still my conceptual pending?                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes,  it's still on the floor.   We're discussing                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Could you just repeat that?                                                                                 
SENATOR DONLEY:  Yeah, it was  to limit, to  say that if  the task                                                              
force  wanted access  to any  confidential  information, it  would                                                              
have to  be by  a majority vote  of the task  force and  that they                                                              
would  be  subject   to  the  executive  ethics  act   as  far  as                                                              
maintaining confidentiality of information they obtained.                                                                       
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: I share  some of  Senator Therriault's  concerns                                                              
about, especially  on the  appointment, if we  end up  with either                                                              
the Speaker  or the  President appointing someone  that is  from a                                                              
competing  company.   I think that  really, even  with a  majority                                                              
vote, even  with the  sanctions provided, I  think it  places that                                                              
person in an  awful difficult position.   And if you talk  about a                                                              
perception of  conflict, I think  that's pretty clear  perception.                                                              
And they  could be  as pure as  driven snow in  the way  that they                                                              
handle  themselves.   So I,  I like  having the  penalty phase  in                                                              
there and  it taking  the majority  of the  committee to  do that.                                                              
But I'm  thinking that you  might want to  have, I don't  know how                                                              
better to structure  that and yet how to allow that  task force to                                                              
still do a meaningful  job, is the question, too.   That, I'm kind                                                              
of divided on that issue, but it...                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT: And do you have a...                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: I'd appreciate any other discussion myself.                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Go ahead.                                                                                                   
CHAIRWOMAN THOMPSON: No, that was the last big...                                                                               
SENATOR  DONLEY:  Senator  Therriault,  just,  my  motion's  still                                                              
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: Yes,  I'm sorry,  I  thought she  had a  last                                                              
comment on that motion.                                                                                                         
SENATOR DONLEY: Oh, okay, I'll just, okay, I'm sorry.                                                                           
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Okay, then.                                                                                                 
SENATOR DONLEY: I thought we were going on to something else.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Question.  Is there  objection?  There  being no                                                              
objection, the amendment passes.   And you understand it, Barbara?                                                              
MS. CRAVER: I think I do.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Okay.   My concern is I have, I  have agreed that                                                              
we would  make every  effort to put  this bill  onto the  floor at                                                              
4:00.  And I'm  very concerned about how much time  is going to be                                                              
available  to  Barb  and  the drafters  to  get  an  actual  typed                                                              
document in front of the members in that time.                                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  Okay, Mr. Chairman, one last thing.   I think                                                              
I'd like  to make a  conceptual motion on  Section 8 of  the bill,                                                              
which deals with  the election of the chair.  I  like the election                                                              
of the chair process,  but I do share a little  bit of the concern                                                              
expressed by  the Chairman here from  the Commission that,  and we                                                              
run into  that all the  time, you've  got people in  agencies that                                                              
have been  there a  long time and  you might  have a new  division                                                              
director or  a new commissioner  even and  they'll just  wait them                                                              
out  and they  know they  can do  that.   And if  you've got  this                                                              
potential of,  you know,  the chair changing  every year,  I think                                                              
you'll see  that, you'll see some of  that.  So I would  just like                                                              
to conceptually move  that the chair be elected and  just leave it                                                              
at that.                                                                                                                        
SENATOR DONLEY: Oh, I see, just remove the one-year...                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Yeah.                                                                                                       
SENATOR DONLEY: ...term?  So leave it up to...                                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT:  And Barbara, if we don't speak  to the length                                                              
of  the  term, would  it  just  be  until the  membership  of  the                                                              
Commission chose to change?                                                                                                     
MS. CRAVER: You  could revert back to the current,  which says the                                                              
term is four years.  If you don't, and if you don't...                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY: That's not what we had in mind.                                                                                 
MS. CRAVER: Okay.  I'm not...                                                                                                   
SENATOR COWDERY:  What happens  if, Mr.  Chairman, if somebody  is                                                              
elected  and two  years  from now  they  decided  to have  another                                                              
election, even though, you know, and they...                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Well, Barbara,  under the current statute, how                                                              
would  that be handled?   It  says here  the term  is four  years.                                                              
What if  the majority  of the  Commissioners said,  'You know,  we                                                              
think we need a change?'                                                                                                        
MS. CRAVER: Well, it looks to me  like, if the term is four years,                                                              
the Governor  designates that  chair, the  chair stays  unless the                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY: Barbara, we're not...                                                                                           
MS. CRAVER:  I guess,  goes to  the drastic  step of removing  the                                                              
SENATOR DONLEY:  We're not even  talking about going  there, where                                                              
the status quo  is.  We're talking about a variable,  or variation                                                              
in  an  election  process  for  the chair.    Okay,  so  lets  not                                                              
[indisc.]  go  back  to  what  the status  quo  is.    What  we're                                                              
interested in,  and you know it kind  of cuts both ways.   I mean,                                                              
if you let  them just elect any  time they want, well  then you're                                                              
falling  into Nan's  argument, one  unpopular  decision, they  may                                                              
just replace  the chair.  But if  you make it so that  it's, so it                                                              
might cut actually against what the  testimony was about that.  So                                                              
I'm trying, right now I'm just going  through the pros and cons of                                                              
it, you know, and I was, you know, there's other...                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Go ahead.                                                                                                      
MS. CRAVER: It seems to me that the  significant difference in (b)                                                              
in the current  draft is that it takes the appointment  power away                                                              
from the Governor.  So you're still,  it doesn't sound like you're                                                              
debating whether or not that's good.                                                                                            
SENATOR DONLEY: No.                                                                                                             
MS. CRAVER: Okay.   So then you just want to make  the term of the                                                              
chair, who's  elected by the Commission,  longer.  Whether  or not                                                              
you decide...                                                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: Well, maybe.                                                                                                    
MS. CRAVER: Whether or not to do so.                                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT: I guess, then, rather than leave it...                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: I  like  having the  opportunity  for the  board                                                              
itself to control  its internal affairs.  And I  think that's very                                                              
important to  boards to be able to  do that.  And if  they want to                                                              
continue to  reelect the same chair,  they ought to be  able to do                                                              
so.  I  just put in a term limit  of three and they  would have to                                                              
go off  and another  person come  on, at least  for one  year, and                                                              
then  they   could  serve   again  if   they're  reappointed   and                                                              
everything's going  fine.  The idea  of going along with  a three-                                                              
year  term or  a two-year  term,  in my  opinion,  locks them  in.                                                              
Because  these  people  are  staggered   terms,  they're  rotating                                                              
through out this period, all five  of them are.  And they're going                                                              
to be coming up for...                                                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY: Why  not let the, another middle  ground, would be                                                              
let the commissioners decide.  You  could have for up to, they can                                                              
choose somebody for  up to a certain period of time.   If you want                                                              
to make it two  years, then they could, if they  only want to make                                                              
it for a year, they could make it  for a year.  Or they could make                                                              
it for  two years, you  know.  I mean,  that would be  another way                                                              
kind of smack right in the middle of where you're trying to go.                                                                 
SENATOR  THERRIAULT: I've  got a  motion.   Let me  just amend  my                                                              
motion that,  or amend my motion  that would, so it would  be that                                                              
they elect their chair for a term of three years.                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Everybody understand the motion?  I object.                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY:  Yeah, I think that's  too long.  I think  I could                                                              
be  persuaded that  giving them  the discretion  to go  up to  two                                                              
years, I could probably support.   I think three years is a little                                                              
long.  [Indisc.].                                                                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Yep.                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Question?  Roll call.                                                                                          
SENATE CLERK: Senator Donley?                                                                                                   
SENATOR DONLEY: No.                                                                                                             
SENATE CLERK: Senator Cowdery?                                                                                                  
SENATOR COWDERY: No.                                                                                                            
SENATE CLERK: Senator Therriault?                                                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT: Yes.                                                                                                        
SENATE CLERK: Senator Ellis?                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELLIS: Yes.                                                                                                             
SENATE CLERK: Senator Taylor?                                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: No.    Motion fails.   Other  items?   Chair  to                                                              
entertain a motion on the bill.                                                                                                 
SENATOR DONLEY: Mr.  Chairman, I move the committee  substitute as                                                              
amended - ready for that motion?                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR: Yes.                                                                                                           
SENATOR DONLEY: Okay,  I move the committee substitute  as amended                                                              
from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Is there objection?   There being  no objection,                                                              
the bill  as amended will  move from  committee, as soon  as we've                                                              
received the  typed version.   And I hope  your people can  get it                                                              
back quickly  to us  this time, Barb.   And  I appreciate  so much                                                              
your help  all night  last night,  too.  Thank  you very  much and                                                              
thank your  staff for that.  Anything  further?  I wanted  to take                                                              
this time to thank the members of  the Committee for over 30 hours                                                              
of  endurance  and disruption  of  your  personal lives  and  your                                                              
schedules that none  of us had hoped to go through.   I think this                                                              
product is a  far superior product to that which  was delivered to                                                              
us.  I think  it provides for some levels of  integrity within the                                                              
system that we can be proud of.   I think that it will be helpful,                                                              
both to the Commission  and to those who appear  before it because                                                              
the timelines  now are definitive  and have  some teeth.   I think                                                              
that  we also  have an  opportunity  for a  more cohesive  working                                                              
relationship  within the  Commission  itself in  that the  members                                                              
will decide  who their  chair is  and when.   And  I think  all of                                                              
those are  healthy and good aspects  that would not  have occurred                                                              
but for  the hard work  of this Committee  and the  great patience                                                              
and support  that you  have provided to  me as  the Chair.   And I                                                              
thank  each  of  you  for  that  and  appreciate  very  much  your                                                              
attendance and  your hard work.   And I  also want to  thank again                                                              
all those who appeared and who have  stood by ready and willing to                                                              
offer their  support and advice  and they have  done so in  a very                                                              
professional fashion and the Chair appreciates that, also.                                                                      
SENATOR ELLIS: Mr.  Chairman, you mentioned the bill  being on the                                                              
floor of the  Senate at 4:00.   Does that mean the  Senate Finance                                                              
Committee waived its referral?                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: It's  my understanding  they will,  but I  can't                                                              
guarantee that because I don't control that committee.                                                                          
SENATOR DONLEY:  Yeah, I'm  fine with the  waiver.  I  can't speak                                                              
for my co-chair or the members of  the Committee, for that matter.                                                              
And the  waiver, of  course is subject  to the  vote of  the body,                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR:  Here's a document to  sign.  Of course  we don't                                                              
have the final in front of us.  But you'll...                                                                                   
MS. KELLY HUBER [staff To Senate  President Rick Halford]: Once we                                                              
get it, I'll make sure the Committee members have a copy.                                                                       
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR: Each  member  will receive  a  copy before  this                                                              
thing does  go on the floor so  we can each, and  hopefully you'll                                                              
each  read through  it  and take  the time  to  verify that  those                                                              
amendments  are correct  and correct  with  your understanding  of                                                              
what they were.  We are adjourned. [2:52 p.m.]                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects