Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/11/1994 09:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
COMMISSIONER USERA states SB 250 is the reorganization of the commissions that deal with senior's programs. There is no fiscal note associated with SB 250. (the discussion returns to SB 248.) CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 250 (REVISE OLDER ALASKANS COMMISSION) as the next order of business before the committee. The chairman calls Ms. Meiners to testify. Number 317 MARY LOU MEINERS, State Chairperson, American Association of Retired Persons Legislative Committee commends the administration for their work on senior's programs, but takes objection with the provision in SB 250 on page 3, lines 12 and 13, which gives the governor the power to appoint the chair of the Older Alaskans Commission. The AARP feels that since the governor appoints all the members of the commission, the commission itself should be able to choose its' chairperson. Otherwise, the AARP is in favor of SB 250. Number 335 SENATOR LEMAN asks Ms. Meiners if she thinks her concern is really that important. MS. MEINERS says she has received a lot of calls regarding that provision, and people seem to be concerned with it. She states the people who have contacted her think it is important to retain that one bit of power on the commission. Number 345 SENATOR DUNCAN makes a motion, based on Ms. Meiners testimony, to delete section 7 if it would give the commission the power to elect their own chair. Number 352 CONNIE SIPE, Director, Division of Senior Services, Department of Administration states if section 7 is deleted, that would enable the commission to elect its' own officers and chairperson. Number 360 SENATOR LEMAN asks Commissioner Usera and Ms. Sipe if they can defend section 7. Number 361 COMMISSIONER USERA responds the difference of opinion on section 7 lies in advocacy for the program. The Older Alaskans Commission, which under SB 250 becomes the Commission on Aging has a dual mandate, not only to administer programs and establish policy, but also to be an advocate for senior's programs. The administration believes that advocacy role can be better served if there is a relationship between the governor and the chairman. Number 383 SENATOR DUNCAN says it also makes sense for the senior community of this state to have a different goal or policy than the administration, and that the chairman shouldn't necessarily be simply a mouth-piece for the governor. COMMISSIONER USERA says that isn't the idea, the idea is for the governor to have access to the commission. If the chairman of a commission is so identified with the prior political appointment, that their access to the governor or to the processes that entails, impairs their ability to do the job. Number 398 SENATOR DUNCAN says he has not been convinced and makes a motion to delete section 7 from SB 250. SENATOR TAYLOR states he thinks deleting section 7 would be preferable. He has found that if a governor can select all the members of a group, part of the selection process can be that persons appointed agree to select the person the governor wants for chairperson. 413 COMMISSIONER USERA says section 7 is in the administration's best judgement and is their recommendation on how organizations can best be managed. Certainly, if there is a difference of opinion, the administration will not attempt to hold the bill up or take great exception to an amendment. Number 422 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is objection to the motion to delete section 7 from SB 350. Hearing no objection, the amendment has been adopted. The chairman asks if there is further discussion on SB 250. Number 427 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge SB 250 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 433 COMMISSIONER USERA states that on page 2, line 17, section 3 there is a provision allowing the governor to appoint the pioneer home chairperson also. In the interest of consistency, the commissioner brings that to the committee's attention. Number 446 CHAIRMAN LEMAN makes a motion to delete the material on line 17, page 2. Hearing no objection, the chairman notes the amendment has been adopted. SENATOR TAYLOR renews his motion to discharge SB 250 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 454 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 250 released from committee with individual recommendations.